Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks at Ministry of Defense Following Virtual Meeting Between Minister Burchuladze and the Honorable Jim Locher

I want to thank Minister Burchuladze and the Ministry of Defense for hosting this very important event on Organizational Change Management with Dr. Jim Locher. Dr. Locher has had a distinguished career at the White House, the Pentagon, and in Congress, and is an international expert on Organizational Change Management. The United States and Georgia have worked together for a long time in the security sector to strengthen Georgia’s ability to respond to the threats that face Georgia. This initiative modernizes Georgia’s defense forces so it is more agile, more responsive, and more effective in defending Georgia against the kinds of threats that Georgia faces. Over 20,000 Georgian soldiers have trained with the United States and we are always looking for opportunities to build on that strong partnership that we have. This is an opportunity to take from the experiences that Georgian soldiers have learned in the field and transfer it to decision-making at all levels so that senior-level leaders can make strategic decisions, and mid-level officers can make tactical decisions. This approach is what all governments are moving to in NATO. We want to make sure that Georgia remains interoperable in its organization as well as its equipment with NATO, and this modernization ensures that Georgia is more interoperable with NATO, and is not left behind as we modernize our force structures. The United States looks forward to working with the Georgia Defense Forces and the Ministry of Defense on this very important initiative as we have throughout the years.