Prague, March 6 (CTK) – An amendment to the Defence Strategy of the Czech Republic, which the government will be approving soon, includes the establishment of new units and the rise in the number of soldiers by 5000.
The National Security Council (BRS) has already debated this document.
According to the amended strategy, the Czech military could offer its task brigades to the allies also for tackling crises outside the NATO countries’ territories in the future. So far the defence documents have counted with the deployment of Czech brigades to secure NATO’s collective defence only.
“We react to the developments in the world not only by the changing of defence laws, but also by modernisation and reinforcement of our military as well as modification of the key strategic documents. The original version from 2012 does not correspond to the reality any more,” said Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO), commenting on the change to the defence strategy.
It describes the state comprehensive approach to the defence capabilities development, he added.
“The document mentions the necessity to acquire adequate reserves of ammunition and other materiel,” Stropnicky said.
The aim of the defence strategy is to strengthen the defence of the Czech Republic in “an adverse security situation” that occurred in Europe in the past few years. It points to Russia’s steps in Ukraine and the instability in the south and southeast of European borders.
“On the basis of the assessment of security threats and risks related to them, we must, in a long-term perspective, count with the establishment of new units and divisions to increase mainly combat skills of our ground forces and reinforce the Military of the Czech Republic by another 5000 troops,” the strategy says.
The Defence Ministry and the military command recently mentioned the plan to increase the number of soldiers from the current 24,162. The Czech Republic will still keep a professional military, while the citizens’ participation in the state defence will remain voluntary in the future as well unless the state faces an imminent threat, according to the strategy.
Regional defence cooperation will be built on two pillars – cooperation with Germany and with the other three Visegrad Four (V4) countries, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Within the cooperation with Germany, a Czech rapid reaction brigade will train jointly with a German unit in an intensive way to be able to be deployed together if need be, on which the Czech and German defence ministers agreed recently. However, the Czech unit will remain under the Czech command.
The new strategy puts an emphasis on the defence industry as one of the building blocks of the state security structure.
The document also says the “concept of postponed need” may have to be changed.
It was presupposed in the past that the threatening of the state would be gradual with a long warning period. However, the events in Ukraine have shown that a conflict might arise all of a sudden. This is why the military must constantly have the sufficient amount of materiel and reserves at its disposal and logistics must be secured.
“The concept of postponed need will be assessed and possibly revised in this context,” the new strategy says.