Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Georgia

Georgia has granted blanket overflight clearance to all U.S. military aircraft engaged in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Georgia contributed over 2,000 troops to counterterrorism efforts in Iraq and became a contributing nation to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Georgia withdrew its troops from Iraq during the August war with Russia to provide for homeland defense.

The Georgian government continued to improve border security operations and worked to eliminate corruption at border checkpoints, focusing its efforts on stopping the smuggling of contraband, including money, illegal drugs, and weapons (chemical, nuclear, and biological) that could support terrorism. Through a combination of the Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program, the Department of Homeland Security's Georgia Border Security and Law Enforcement program, and the State Department's Export Control and Related Border Security program, there was a significant improvement in infrastructure, equipment, and enforcement training at most major border crossing checkpoints, including rail and seaport ports of entry. All three programs trained individuals in the Georgian Border Police, Georgian Coast Guard, Customs, Revenue Service, the Nuclear Radiation Safety Service, Patrol Police, and the Institute of Physics, thus enhancing the Government of Georgia's radioactive material detection capabilities. The Department of Justice conducted a bulk cash smuggling seminar with the Office of Prosecutor General, Border Police, Ministry of Interior, and Customs.

Border crossings into Russia from the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia continued, but were not under the control of the Government of Georgia. This situation allowed for the unrestricted and unidentified flow of people, goods, and other items from Russia into these regions. Since the Russian invasion in August, the Administrative Boundary Lines between Georgia and the conflict regions have been heavily militarized and movements across the boundary were controlled, although no formal customs checks or procedures existed.


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