Taliban-affiliated insurgents in Afghanistan killed a Georgian soldier on patrol outside the perimeter of Bagram AB, Afghanistan, on Sept. 22, according to NATO and Georgian government officials. The attack marks the first combat casualty for Operation Resolute Support since Aug. 26, when two USAF combat controllers were targeted in a “green on blue” attack in Helmand Province. The office of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili released a statement Sept. 23 offering condolences to the family of the soldier, identified as Private Vasil Kuljanishvili. “We lost another valiant soldier, a selfless patriot who has sacrificed his life for peace,” Garibashvili said. Georgian defense officials said Kuljanishvili was killed while carrying out an ORS patrol near Bagram. One other soldier was wounded during the attack but is expected to recover. Georgia has a significant presence supporting combat operations in Afghanistan, according to NATO officials, and is the second largest contributor to the ORS mission after the United States with some 885 troops supporting ORS.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.