Georgia Defence and Security Conference 

Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC)




November 6-7, 2019

Batumi, Georgia


On November 6 -7 Georgia will host the 13th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC).

Since its launch, the GDSC has become the venue for posting the right questions and seeking the right answers for Georgia, for the Black Sea region and for the European and Euro-Atlantic Security.

Traditionally, the GDSC brings together the triangle of decision-makers, practitioners, and members of academia, best friends of Georgia, to share their views and offer their perspectives in the thought-provoking environment, which is so generously offered by the organizers.

The GDSC is meant to be an attractive forum with interactive sessions, which will engage the respective audience and provoke the creative policy options for the better future of Georgia, therefore for European and Euro-Atlantic community.

For the year 2019 suggested plenary sessions are as follows:

Rationalizing Evolving Security Environment in the Black Sea Region - Russia’s increased military build-up in the Black Sea region has resulted in the decision of the Alliance to bolster NATO's presence in the area. NATO has taken steps to strengthen the security of allies and partners in the region, thus Black Sea region’s political, military and economic significance, as well as its security and stability has once again re-emerged.

How does the wider Black Sea region looks today? What are the perspectives and ambitions of the major players? Can the European stability be expanded through the wider Black Sea Region? and what is the Transatlantic strategy towards the Black Sea? The invitees are kindly asked to reflect on this questions, having in mind, that Georgia – a Black Sea littoral state, NATO aspirant and one of the most reliable partners of the Alliance in the region - has the ambition to play an even stronger role in upholding the regional security and reinforcing deterrence of NATO’s Eastern borders.

Georgia on the Right Track- for the NATO and EU Membership - The conscious determination of the vast majority of Georgians to join the European and Euro-Atlantic family continues to result in the highest level of popular support towards NATO and the European Union in Georgia. Are the Allies and the member countries today encouraging and fairly treating those who - despite external pressure - firmly continue to uphold values of freedom and democracy? Are we sending a clear message to Russia, who tries to create territorial divisions in Europe and resort to military force in order to restrict the freedom of nations to pursue their own future? The participants of this plenary

session will be encouraged to talk about the NATO Open Door Policy and the strategic momentum to extend an invitation to Georgia as well as to discuss the new vision of European defence, power of the “soft” EU, comprehensive approach and perspectives of Georgia.

Georgia’s Strategic Readiness: From Words to Action - On the way to the NATO and EU membership, Georgia has developed a new approach which combines strategic readiness with principles that develop sustainable territorial defence and the required defence capabilities that are compatible with NATO standards, which will ensure swift integration of Georgia into the Alliance once the membership invitation is extended.

Strategic readiness of the country is achieved through developing a Total Defence system that works for Georgia and which ensures strengthening of the deterrence and defence capabilities of the state. The successful execution of deterrence and defence tasks requires adequately manned, trained and equipped Georgian Defence Forces, as well as the readiness of society, state and private sector to contribute to Georgia’s state defence. This can be attained only by developing and institutionalizing the Total Defence the system at the national level through a whole-of-government approach, which is a critical mechanism for state and societal resilience contributing to the security and defence of the country.

This plenary session will be dedicated to the transformation process of the Georgian Defence Forces and the efforts of the Ministry of Defence to improve its institutional capacity and modernize operational capabilities as well as the equipment of the defence forces. The respective speakers will inform the audience about the status of the first-ever long-term national-level planning document – National Defence Strategy 2020-2030. The NDS, which creates the basis for the practical implementation of the Total Defence approach and builds the foundation for the development of the resilient defence system.

Hybrid Tactics and Hybrid Threats- Walking a tightrope - The use of hybrid strategies, development of information operations and cyber capabilities have enabled Russia to direct its efforts towards shaping political narratives in many countries. Growing cyber and information-operations capabilities along with an increased number of Russian “cyber warriors” represents a dangerous combination, enabling the Kremlin to interfere and influence in other countries affairs. Moscow’s deliberate and covert actions are directed towards challenging the European and Euro-Atlantic security through undermining pro-Western democracies and provoking wars. Living through the disinformation era-how to counterstrike? Deter or prevent (or to regulate at all)? Have we figured it out?

This session promises to analyze Russian hybrid tactics putting the emphasis on cyber in order to determine vulnerabilities, spaces to manoeuvre and define right capabilities to deter and defend against the rising threat.