Friend and colleague Bradley Jardine and I take a look at the state of medical treatment and rehabilitation for severely wounded soldiers in Republic of Georgia in a recent piece for The Diplomat. Most people aren’t aware that the Republic of Georgia, a non-NATO member, is nonetheless the second largest troop contributor to the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan. They’ve also suffered proportionally heavy losses as their soldiers participate in some of the most dangerous duties and heavy fighting (unlike some other NATO allies). As a result more than 40 have become amputees, many of them losing limbs to the now infamous improvised explosive devices that dot Afghanistan’s terrain. The article is written from the perspective of Cpl. Temur Dadiani as he struggles to receive adequate care after losing the lower half of his body to an IED while on patrol in Helmand Province in 2012.
On the same day that U.S. President Barack Obama broke his promise to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was on the line with America’s longtime allies there. Georgia’s Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli was eager to answer the call. Immediately after, she announced that Georgia would remain a “devoted partner” to NATO and the U.S. Despite its relatively small size, and the fact that it is not a member of the alliance, Georgia has nonetheless become the second largest troop contributor to the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan -with more than 850 soldiers rotated in and out on a continuous basis.