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E15: NATO slams Czechs over poor military capacity

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Prague, March 2 (CTK) – The Czech Republic would be able to provide NATO with a much smaller military contribution than expected if there were a crisis, daily E15 reported on Wednesday, quoting the NATO Defence Policy and Planning Committee (DPPC).

In fact, the Czech military’s major units lack a part of their soldiers and Prague gives too little money for the vital combat equipment, E15 writes.

On the other hand, DPPC’s members appreciated the Czech government’s commitment to increase military expenditures up to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2020.

According to the February NATO assessment report for 2015, the vital combat and logistics units of the Czech military lack about one-fifth of their personnel.

As a result, not all of them are ready to join the whole spectrum of allied operations, E15 writes.

NATO also has reservations about the mechanised brigade, the Czech Republic’s crucial commitment.

Except for Poland, all the central and eastern European countries are in a similar situation as the Czech Republic, E15 writes.

The DDPC also criticised weakness of the Czech military in communication equipment, a low number of pilots’ flying hours and small frequency of training of battalions and brigades, it adds.

It expressed the biggest reservations about the low investments in the military equipment.

The state does not spend 20 percent of defence budget on it, but only roughly one-half of the figure, E15 writes.

Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek has told E15 that the criticism by NATO was due to the cuts in the defence budget from the past years.

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