Russia’s full-scale military aggression and the ongoing war in Ukraine have led to a fundamental overhaul of the West’s defense and security policy and practice. In addition, a large-scale conventional war on European soil and the successful defensive operation of Ukraine has prompted defense and security professionals to reconsider the importance of total (comprehensive) defense.
The total defense system was established during the Cold War in non-NATO member states that faced threats from a superior adversary. The concept has adapted to new security challenges and evolved from a comprehensive defense system to a comprehensive security model.
Since 2017 Georgia has been trying to build its defense and security system on the principle of total defense. However, it has not yet approved the necessary political and strategic guidelines, conceptual framework, implementation plan, and assigned resources.
Based on the Baltic and Nordic States case study, the paper identifies the critical conditions for implementing an effective and efficient total defense system and assesses the state of play in Georgia consistent with the case study’s findings.