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Nabídka akcí

Reakce české obranné politiky na dynamiku svého bezpečnostního prostředí – hodnocení a doporučení

 Článek hodnotí koncepční rámec pro formulování české obranné politiky z hlediska rychlé změny bezpečnostního prostředí po anexi Krymu ze strany Ruska v březnu 2014 a v souvislosti s rostoucí nestabilitou na středním východě a v severní Africe. Příspěvek posuzuje rozhodující opatření přijatá na politické, vojenské, administrativní, ekonomické a společenské úrovně, za účelem hodnocení efektivnosti české obranné politiky. Autoři nabízejí několik zásadních doporučení pro zvýšení akceschopnosti a připravenosti českého obranného systému a ozbrojených sil jako jedné z jeho nejvýznamnějších složek, a to jak v krátkodobé, tak i dlouhodobé perspektivě.

Další informace

  • ročník: 2016
  • číslo: Mimořádné číslo
  • stav: Recenzované / Reviewed
  • typ článku: Přehledový / Peer-reviewed


The authors of the paper argue that the Czech Republic and its allies must be ready for predictable and prepared for unexpected situations once it comes to safeguarding of their defence and security. It might have been easy to say but rather difficult to ensure. In this context the Czech Republic has instituted a number of significant measures in response to the rapid change in its security environment after 2014. More assertive Russia and radical Islamism as a main source of terrorism and lately also migration wave as one of the spill over effect of conflict in Syria have remained in the centre of the Czech defence policy attention since 2014. The authors’ point of departure is, however, that none of these phenomena are entirely new. Each of them alone is merely a projection of a long-term evolution rather than any kind of revolution and surprise. The fact that these situations with security implications for NATO, Europe and the Czech Republic occurred simultaneously is what really is significant and this naturally evoked the necessity to reconsider the effectiveness of our defence policy and the way it is implemented.

On the surface it may only seem, that amid the growing dynamics in the strategic environment the Government of the Czech Republic has adopted several strategic documents and policies[1] as an orchestrated effort with its NATO allies. But strategic documents alone are only a “tip of the iceberg” of our response. Nevertheless, these documents create the conceptual framework for the whole range of measures in order to enhance the Czech defence and security provision both in short- and long-term timeframe.

Methodologically, this article is inspired by the so called Copenhagen School of Security Studies in terms of examining defence policy issues in a broader context by using interrelated sectors or categories.[2] Thus this article aims at identifying and assessment of undertaken measures in the effort of the Czech defence policy adaptation which will be divided into the following categories based on their characteristics: (1) political; (2) military; (3) administrative; (4) economical, and (5) societal. Furthermore, the authors’ ambition is to offer their view on the way ahead in those areas in order to promote discussion on the future course of action of the Czech defence policy evolution. Conceptually, this text is put in context of long-term adaptation of the Czech defence policy after 1989.


Czech Defence Policy has been subject to adaptation since the end of Cold War. The Czechoslovak military in November 1989 was a completely different sort of organisation than we can witness today. It was an instrument serving entirely the purpose of the communist regime.[3] It was built and prepared to fulfil a grand strategy with predominantly offensive objectives of potential superpowers’ conflict accompanied most likely with a massive employment of nuclear weapons. Robust military potential[4] was kept in a high readiness mode supported by building-up plans in order to mobilize all state resources in case of war both in terms of personnel and material. In addition, the state owned economy was also organised in the way which would allow sustaining the war time military structure operating under the operational concept of high intensity military confrontation. From this perspective, it was a complex task for the new political leadership and military senior representatives after 1989 to ensure that the new style of military organization is created and in the same time it will be fit for the purpose under the new political circumstances and in a different strategic context.[5] During the last 26 years following the end of the Cold War, Czech Armed Forces as well as Defence Policy went through numerous and seemingly never-ending reorganizations. Two of the most significant milestones were reached in 1999 (NATO membership) and later in 2004 (full professionalization of the Armed Forces).

Nowadays, the Security Strategy of the Czech Republic from 2015 provides the fundamental conceptual framework for formulation and execution of foreign, defence and internal security policy.[6] The Security Strategy clearly states that the main concern of the Czech Republic Government is economic and social development. However, one of the most significant preconditions for its prosperity today and in the future is a credible provision of security of its population, credible collective defence, fully operational defence arrangements for ensuring our sovereignty and territorial integrity and open access to foreign markets and trades with vital raw materials.

The Czech defence policy is traditionally the main focal point of the document called Defence Strategy.[7] This document was not updated since 2012. It defines three pillars on which the Czech defence policy is currently based. These are: (1) responsible approach by the state to the defence and international commitments (collective defence); (2) capable armed forces; and (3) national defence as a civic duty.[8] While the Defence Strategy may be seen as already outdated (in 2016) due to its time of creation, the three pillars are without any doubt valid in the long-term perspective and constitute a significant contribution to conceptual and holistic defence thinking.

Besides the strategic context Defence Strategy especially defines political-military ambitions for the development of the Czech Armed Forces (CZAF) which basically describe the size of the forces which can be deployed into operations.

Based on the situation these can be:

  1. In the case of an armed conflict which threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Czech Republic, all forces and assets of the CZAF are employed, including an option to invoke conscription.
  2. For NATO Article 5 collective defence, the Czech Republic provides land and air forces earmarked to that effect in the framework of the NATO Defence Planning Process. Their core element consists of a brigade-size task force formed on the basis of a mechanised brigade.
  3. Subject to a given situation, the Czech Republic is able to concurrently or gradually assign the following forces and assets for international crisis management operations: a) a land battalion task force, or an air force equivalent, rotated after a six-month period; as part of this deployment, the CZAF are able to provide a multinational task force command element for up to twelve months; b) a company-size land or air task force rotated after a six-month period; c) a battalion-size task force assigned for high readiness stand-by arrangements of NATO (NATO Response Force) or the EU (EU Battle Group).
  4. The Czech Republic is also able to contribute to additional operations with specialised forces or expert teams, including but not limited to the Special Operations Forces and mentoring and training teams.[9]

Judging by the size of forces which could be deployed under the terms of Defence Strategy, it seems that level of Czech political – military ambition is not precisely defined and in the same time not tailored to the growing demand on military capability. Even despite significant change of our security landscape and attitudes of political elite towards defence, these ambitions remain still valid and as such require thorough reconsideration in due time.

To be more specific, there are two most significant deficiencies in our political-military ambition we can observe. The first one is the battalion size task force offered for crisis response operation under non - Article 5 scenario. The Czech Republic should be able to do more under current circumstances. It should offer a brigade level task force as it was stipulated in the Defence Strategy 2008.[10] The reason for that is clear. NATO still has great value in an unstable world, including that as an anchor for Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union. As always, this value - the value of the whole - depends on the commitments of the individual nations to deliver on their promises.[11]

The second one and even more significant is the high level of ambiguity when it comes to the scope of forces expected to defend our country - the so called “all available forces”. However, no one knows for sure what does it mean in reality. What are the quantitative parameters on which the development of the CZAF in this case should be focused? What command and force structure is actually required for providing credible defence capability for defending the country (of course) in the context of the collective defence arrangement? Frankly speaking, the Czech Republic does not have a solid and sound answer to these questions, yet. Given the unfavourable security situation this ambition should be specified sooner rather than later. A window of opportunity will be open this year with the ministers of defence invitation on elaboration of the new operational concept of the CZAF - for the purpose of this text “Cap Stone Concept”.[12] This kind of document should provide inevitably more clarity on the two following critical questions. Firstly, how the potential employment of the CZAF might look like? Secondly, what are the capabilities in quantitative and qualitative terms required to make these employments successful?

Based on a comprehensive analysis of the Czech defence policy[13] we can argue that the current Defence Strategy interprets a legacy of rather questionable resource driven strategy to safeguarding defence and provision of defence sector necessary capability.[14] It does not deal adequately with the increasing urgency of security challenges, accepts insufficient financing for defence and is willing to accommodate even the high operational risks stemming from moribund defence sector capabilities and its overall rather unsatisfactory performance.[15]

The impact of resource driven kind of defence strategy applied in more than two and half decade is the long-term underfinancing of defence, insufficient performance of the defence sector and declined of the armed forces capabilities of almost all European allies. Shrinking defence budgets and the increasing costs of defence capabilities prevent many allies from meeting their allocated capability targets, thus widening the capability gap between US and the European allies.

The CZAF were not saved from these developments. The CZAF capabilities are considerably constrained by understaffed structures, insufficient training, aging equipment and infrastructure and limited scope of stock (especially ammunition).[16]


After 1993 the Czech defence policy and military strategy were built on the assumption that direct military attack against the Czech Republic and its allies is not probable and it will be easily predictable, which would make preparation for such situation easier. Today the situation evolved. Lessons learned from the current armed conflicts in Georgia 2008 and especially the Russian aggression in Ukraine in 2014 proved that the growing instability of strategic environment and its unpredictability require more prudent approach to defence provision.[17]

The aforementioned change of the security environment served as a wakeup call for political elites both on the international and national levels. The Alliance responded by the Wales Summit Declaration[18] with measures such as Readiness Action Plan, Defence Investment Pledge, etc. As this is not the main scope of this article, details may be omitted. More importantly after the long period of rather relaxed attitudes to defence issues the Czech political leadership has begun to change its political mind-set and took action.

Firstly, the renewed conceptual framework has been established by adopting several strategic documents. These include The Long Term Perspective for Defence 2030; Concept of the Czech Armed Forces 2025 and Concept Development on Services 2025, while more documents are in the process of preparation e.g. National Armament Strategy, Strategy for Defence Industry Support etc.

The underlining theme of all of these documents is that the risk of direct military attack on the Czech Republic remains low - nevertheless, the possibility that some of the NATO or EU allies might be confronted with an immediate military threat cannot be ruled out. In this situation the Czech Republic might be called on to fulfil its collective defence commitments.

In addition the probability that the Czech Republic will be involved in the military kind of confrontation at NATO periphery is increasing and time for effective - the most likely - multinational reaction is significantly shortened (weeks or months - not years).

In order to establish once again the required equilibrium between objectives (“Ends”) and resources (“Means”), in 2014 the Chairmen of the coalition parties of the Czech government signed the Agreement on ensuring defence of the Czech Republic, the goal of which is the stabilization of the country’s defence budgets in the future 10 years. The defence expenditures was supposed to be progressively increased to reach 1.44% GDP in 2020[19], which is a promising - but still inadequate - commitment, given the NATO recommendation to spend 2% GDP on defence.

These assumptions and already adopted conceptual framework provide demanding political guidance for the defence sector and development of the CZAF capabilities. The question which remains to be answered is if there is a strong political will to support the political guidance with adequate resources in longer perspective. Thus defence and military deserve stability and predictability to plan the necessary measures and implement them on time, on budget and within the required parameters. The next elections in 2017 will show the true commitment of the Czech political leadership and political parties’ integrity in terms of defence and security provisions. Defence policy should not become a subject of political competition in modern democracy.


In any case the new political guidance has significant military implications because it puts the armed forces in different conceptual framework - from “light” expeditionary sort of capabilities to the “heavier” capability with adequate fire power and protection for high intensity military confrontation. However this shift is far from easily achievable, because the focus on expeditionary operations was heavily favoured by political elites at least since 2007[20] and as a result it has also become firmly rooted in the strategic documents. It is no surprise that it also had a profound influence on military acquisitions (IVECO and DINGO armoured vehicles etc.). For example the White Paper on Defence from 2011 stated that the development of capabilities should focus on “commitment to material and equipment that will most likely be deployed in operations”[21].

In response to this no longer valid approach and under the changed security premises the Czech Republic needs balanced and credible military capabilities within well performed defence sector including fast political decision making, mobilisation of all available resources and ensured security of supply. Furthermore, the new political guidance significantly increases requirements on preparedness and readiness. In this context, rapid augmentation of the existing professional Armed Forces is of utmost importance.

Different set of strategic assumptions influence the way the CZAF might be employed in order to mitigate a wide spectrum of potential security risks and defend the country’s vital and strategic interests.[22] The CZAF are required to fulfil a whole range of military operations ranging from high intensity warfare (such as collective defence against external attack) to Support of Integrated Rescue System in crisis situations.

The mission and main tasks of the CZAF are well set out in the Act No. 219/1999 Coll., on the Czech Armed Forces and they stem from NATO and EU membership. In addition to that a capability development process of the CZAF is oriented by the political - military ambitions and multinational commitments, e.g. capability targets as an outcome of the NATO Defence Planning Process.

The military response to political tasking embraces two strands of actions: (1) Support to NATO immediate reaction to Russia activities and (2) Long-term adaptation of the Czech Armed Forces Capability.

3.1 The first strand of the short-term actions

In practical terms the Czech Republic supports the implementation of the decisions made during the Newport summit, with the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). At this moment the Czech Republic envisages providing a special operation unit and an airborne unit (roughly 150 personnel in total) with two days “Notice To Move“ into the so called Very High Readiness Forces (VJTF). Further contributions will be considered once the VJTF concept is specified in NATO.[23] The CZAF also increased assignments of units to NRF (over 800 soldiers in 2016). Nearly 300 soldiers are deployed in the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, EU mission in Mali, etc. We will also participate in the so called Forward Presence in East Europe.

Capacity building with partner nations such as Iraq, Jordan or Ukraine (providing ammunition, training teams or logistics) is also increasing as well as our solidarity with allies (Baltic Air Policing or additional Air Policing mission over Iceland freeing Canadian Air Forces for mission against the so called Islamic state in 2015).

3.2 The second strand of the longer-term adaptation

Domestic military reaction includes more long-term measures such as formation of new units (143rd Supply Battalion at Lipník nad Bečvou or Special Forces Support Centre in Olomouc etc.). The future ambition is to balance the capabilities of both existing combat brigades (4th and 7th) in order to create a brigade level task force on the principle of modularity to ensure flexibility.

In terms of the CZAF capability development the Midterm Plan is approved and only about 11% of defence budget in average will be invested in the modernisation effort which is well under the promised level of 20% of defence budget allocated to military investments. As for the material procurement, surprisingly not much has happened since 2014. But future armed forces will be less focused on expeditionary operations thus requiring heavier “hardware” and firepower. Several such projects were envisaged mainly in the Concept of the Czech Armed Forces 2025. The replacement of BMP-2 vehicles, procurement of mobile radars, close air support capabilities and NATO caliber guns just to name a few.

The essential component is “man power” which faces not only negative demographic trends (addressed in a separate chapter) but also constrains in the field of education and training. On the national level exercises currently rarely exceed the battalion level and mobilization mechanisms have not been checked for over two decades.

An ambitious plan is designed to recruit high number of professional soldiers (1800 new soldiers in 2016 and 2000 in 2017) as well as members of active reserves (to reach 5000 in 2025 - currently less than 1300 positions are filled). Currently over 5000 positions are not filled - some units are only at the 65% level of manning.

A critical requirement in the military domain is the ability to identify capability needs both in short- and long-term perspectives and to advocate their importance and criticality for effective operational deployments to our political leadership and all taxpayers. Furthermore, the military must be able to develop functional operational requirements which will serve as a critical guide for the acquisition process. We need to strengthen our defence planning and established sound process addressing uncertainty and unpredictability (variety of planning situation and scenarios), constrained resources (prioritisation and risks management) and long- time delivery of capabilities (long-term planning timeframe).

It is obvious that the peacetime defence posture and readiness of the CZAF must allow for building up a credible war time command and force structure and enhancement of national security and defence system capability and capacity including protection against cyber threats and misleading propaganda (addressed in the following chapters).


In the area of security and defence provision the administrative domain encompasses the president, parliament, government as well as all local government bodies and municipalities responsible for safeguarding the security of the population and the defence of the country. Nevertheless, this article focuses on the internal MoD functions and structures. Lately it can be argued, that one of the underlining topics in the defence sector administration is the growing feeling that times when various reforms were implemented chiefly in order to deliver savings, is inevitably over. Strengthening effectiveness and performance should be the order of the day. However, it doesn’t mean wasting. Strong public oversight of tax-payers money must be ensured through enhanced transparency and accountability.

The current MoD structure is therefore an outcome of several reorganisations conducted during the last few years. The principle that “structure follows function” was notably breached in creation of two separate divisions in the area of armaments and cooperation with the defence industry. The structure was also modified after the Act No. 234/2014 (Law on State Service) was passed. Notably it introduced the position of a state secretary who is supposed to stabilise civilian servants and minimise the influence of political fluctuation in MoD. In addition, positions of political deputies of the minister were replaced by strictly non-political members of state service, but so far in reality these positions are held by the same people as before.

The fundamental function for implementation of defence policy goals is acquisition. This function has deteriorated during the years of economic austerity. Processes were not adapted properly and personnel competencies gradually declined. The New Armament Strategy is in the process of elaboration. It aims at implementing best practices - smart acquisition, sound project management and proper management of life cycle. Preferred principle for material procurement is “Government to Government”. It should minimise corruption and create additional security guarantees following the proverb “By buying our weapons, you also buy our friendship”.

The second most significant function is the human resource management. It should be able to implement personnel policy in its complexity and to guarantee skilled and motivated people for each function as stipulated in the Act No. 221/1999 (Law on Military Service). New career management system for professional soldiers should deal with understaffed command and force structures, lack of motivation, declining knowledge, inadequate age structure of military personnel.


In the European context, after the end of Cold war for more than two decades economic interests prevailed over defence issues and the peace dividend was taken irresponsibly especially in the time of economic austerity. As a result of political disinterest in military matters, the financial crisis after 2009 hit the defence sector severely. The following six years were dominated by budget cuts and most of European Ally armies were frequently seen as a source of money into such extend, that main political-military ambitions were virtually only to cut expenses.

In the Czech Republic this logic continued to prevail even up to the last elections - as illustrated in numerous debates before the 2013 parliamentary elections. The sharpest fall in expenses came in 2010 - when these dropped from 1.43% of GDP to just 1.29% in 2013. Interestingly this coincided with the new phase of the long-term documents development. The overall Czech defence budget was slashed from 2010 to 2014 by more than 30%. The bottom was hit in 2013 when defence expenditures amounted only to 42 billion CZK (1.08% of GDP) - again coinciding with the commencement of works on the Long Term Perspective for Defence 2030; Concept of the Czech Armed Forces 2025. This may seem that reforms are carried out only in times of scarcity - which implies that such elaboration of strategic documents is always about “downsizing” rather than “conceptual developing” of the armed forces.

Balancing the requirements and resources is still a well-known resource allocation dilemma. Nevertheless, the era of doing more with less has become obsolete by Russian annexation of Crimea and its role in the Ukrainian crisis afterwards. One of the potential effects is that the total global defence spending rose by 1% in real terms in 2015. It is the first increase since 2011. The world military expenditures were 1676 billion USD in 2015.[24]

Moreover, allocation of resources differs considerably even among the NATO nations. The European nations with the most powerful military e.g. UK, FR and DE indicate their intent to spend more on defence in the foreseen future to fulfil their defence pledge commitments made in Wales. On the other hand, smaller NATO European ally defence spending is still falling - albeit by meagre 1.3% annually. This does not apply to the Central/Eastern European NATO member states which increased their defence spending substantially by 13% in average. Yet, there are exceptions such as Poland which increased its defence budget by 22% in 2015. Thus, it seems that a new trend is set out in the Alliance. Whether this is a sign of NATO fragmentation remains to be seen. What is certain, however, this mismatch is a result of different threat perception among the allies that they face today.

To make this matter even more challenging, the European allies are under a climbing pressure from the US to spend the recommended 2% of their GDP on defence. The US alone allocates approximately 75% (in real terms 583 billion of USD) of total NATO defence expenditures.[25] The most often used argument is that in order to maintain solid transatlantic relations in the longer term the European pillar in NATO should do more for a credible collective defence and provide meaningful contribution to it.[26] Unfortunately, the cohesion of NATO is under risks, because widespread consensus has emerged in the United States that European allies fail to pay their share when it comes to defence.[27]

The noticeable discrepancy between positions of NATO and the Czech Republic regarding financing was noticed on Wales Summit in September 2014. The Wales Summit Pledge on Defence Investment stipulates commitment of member states to finally increase the defence spending targeting the 2% GDP level. There is indeed a consensus among the coalition parties in the Czech government signed in August 2014 to gradually increase our defence budget - but only to 1.4% of the GDP by 2020. This time period is not only quite distant, but it is after the next elections which may result in a different ruling coalition without any need to honour even the agreed level of 1.4% of GDP on defence.[28] In any case spending 2% of GDP on defence as requested by NATO is simply not going to happen any time soon.

But the amount of expenditures is only one part of the equation, the unhealthy structure of defence expenditures is the other. The so called 50/30/20 formula for defence expenditures, with 50 percent of the budget going for personnel costs, 30 percent for operations and maintenance, and 20 percent for modernization is the long term goal in the Czech Republic, but the planned proportions of defence budget in 2016 are 56/33/11.[29] The positive trend is the reduction of personnel expenditures in the aftermath of the economic crisis which rose to staggering 62% in 2014. But even our 62% (in 2014) pale in contrast to several allied countries such as Portugal, Greece, Belgium or Italy where personnel costs are attacking 80% of their defence budget[30] which is a worrying trend. Hard decision must be made in order to support the development of the most pressing capability gaps and priorities. In practice it means predictability of defence budget addressing the NATO requirement of 2% GDP including its healthy internal structure ensuring that 20% of defence budget will be freed up for modernisation of the aging military equipment and infrastructure, e.g. helicopters, artillery, air defence, radars, and armoured fighting vehicles. The capital investment is a strategic portfolio which requires long-term outlook up to 30 years, wider political consensus and public support.

5.1 Security of supply

While in 2015 the Czech Republic initiated an analysis of dependency of Allies on Russian equipment, its own security of supply poses unacceptable risk to our freedom of action. One of the objectives taken to mitigate this risk on the conceptual level is the newly prepared Strategy on Defence Industry Support which is currently being finalized (June 2016). Among other measures it introduces the concept of “Strategic Supplier” which will enjoy specific status in exchange for tighter control of its ownership, security of information, etc. In practice it means that such company could be directly awarded contract for material without competition particularly in time of crisis and armed conflict or in the situation in which essential security interests of the state are at stake. Such approach is acceptable even under Article 346 of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.[31] On the more general level the perception of defence industry shifted from purely economic asset boosting national economy to defence instrument necessary for the CZAF support. The next logical step is to identify priority areas of defence industry competencies we need to keep and develop in the future.


Technological models (and most discussions of “future war”, RMA, etc. - heavily if not exclusively technology-driven) cannot describe the real wars which we have already experienced in the post-Cold War era. The courses of these wars have in fact been driven not by technology (which remains essentially a tool), but by the complex interplay among opposing sets of popular emotions, military skills, and political calculations. The defence potential of every state is traditionally based upon the Clausewitzian notion of trinity of “people, army, and government”[32]. While “army” and “government” were covered in the previous chapters, it is the societal domain that is often overlooked. And although a lot has been done on conceptual level for the armed forces capability enhancement, very little for the overall improvement of societal resilience. Several initiatives and programmes exist from the past - albeit with questionable results - such as the so called “Preparation of citizens for the defence of the state” (Czech abbreviation “POKOS”). Numerous other activities organized mostly by the CZAF are rather PR oriented (display “Bahna” or “Cihelna”) and their potential to truly enhance societal resilience is limited. In order to make progress in this field interagency and complex approach is required, starting from primary school education. This approach, while generally accepted, bears legacy of pre-1989 period and as such it is hampered by its political sensitivity. By “resilience” we understand not only preparation for war itself in conventional terms, but also reinforcing awareness of society in the area of cyber space, social media and potential threat of enemy propaganda tools.

Strategic communication has been “reactive” rather than “proactive” in the past. The result is an alarmingly low knowledge of ordinary citizens about the defence sector. Only 20% of respondents in public survey were able to correctly guess the size of CZAF or defence budget. The natural outcome is that just 43% of respondents are willing to participate in defence of the country in case of war.[33] The Ministry of Defence currently commenced work on the Strategic Communication Concept. One of the key preconditions is that it will be orchestrated with other ministries, but naturally it is the Ministry of Interior that has the lead in this case.

An inherent part of potential scenario is also a hybrid kind of activities targeting the countries’ cyber space.[34] Allies will likely agree during a summit meeting in Warsaw in 2016 to designate cyber as an official operational domain of warfare, along with air, sea, land, and space. Cyber security capability that the Czech MoD is going to maintain and develop will embrace passive, preventive and reactive measures.[35] Critical capability gap within the C2 domain includes also a secured line of communication in integrated national and multinational information environment which we are still unable to resolve effectively.

Despite the acknowledgment that societal resilience, cyber and strategic communication are essential elements of the Czech Republic defence capability, more needs to be done conceptually. Additionally, we should allocate more resources toward these areas and institutionalise holistic approach - clear responsibilities and organisational arrangement should be established. It seems that stove piping is not the ideal way forward because it would again create an unacceptable risk to our defence provision. Simply, we need more multinational, inter-agency, inter-services coordination and cooperation on the horizontal level in the system to achieve synergies.

Furthermore, there are several potential risks stemming from the nature of the societal domain. Firstly, the aging population and limited physical fitness of the young population constitute a heavy burden for the CZAF. Lowering overall physical requirements is undoubtedly the road to hell. More flexible recruitment policy is needed. Solution might lie in the tailored approach matching requirements to the character of the supposed soldier assignment. Additionally, in time of the growing economy the CZAF are competing with the police and fire rescue service on labour market over the same pool of candidates.

The second, even more strategically relevant, issue is the defective linkage between the professional armed forces and the rest of our society. The Czech MoD should capitalise on the positive attitude of our society do the CZAF in this regard. Even though currently 61% of population of the Czech Republic believe in the ability of the CZAF to defend successfully its sovereignty[36], only around one fifth of our citizens is actively seeking information about the armed forces. Thus it can be argued that for large majority of population armed forces remain mostly invisible. The motivation to join armed forces is not only question of salary and benefits but mainly that of prestige and visibility.

The armed forces must reach out to the Czech young population in a more proactive way, e.g. social media and modern forms of communication.


The authors of this paper intended to assess the scope of changes in the pursuit of the Czech Republic defence policy adaptation to the wide spectrum of security challenges, which are both military and non-military in their nature. This assessment was conducted in the context of a wider NATO response to the dynamic change of global security environment after 2014.

This article assessed the Czech Defence policy adaptation in the following domains: (1) political; (2) military; (3) administrative; (4) economical; and (5) societal and offers several ideas for further improvement.

It seems that the Czech political leadership’s attitude to defence matters has evolved dramatically over the last two years, mostly due to the Russian aggression, influx of refugees and increasing scope of terrorist activities in European capitals. Outcome of this effort might be split into several areas. First of all, the decline of defence budget has been stopped and hopefully will be reversed in the near future (from current 1.06% to 1.44% of GDP by 2020), yet still far away from the NATO benchmark of 2%. Secondly, several strategic documents were amended so they reflect new security realities and implications, e.g. the Long Term Perspective for Defence 2030 and Concept of the Czech Armed Forces 2025 are based on different sets of strategic assumptions. Thirdly, the required capability of the armed forces is subject to reconsideration in order to enhance their preparedness and readiness. In addition to that the defence system, as a whole, requires enhanced resilience and proper functioning in terms of mobilisation of all society resources, both material and human. Nevertheless, implementation of the updated Czech defence policy still faces significant obstacles. Critical is the performance of the acquisition system and recruitment of young military professionals.

Key strategic level recommendations for the Czech defence policy reinforcement encompasses following ideas: (1) thoughtful amendment of the Czech political-military ambitions inadequately stipulated in the Czech Republic Defence Strategy while properly addressing the shift in our security environment; (2) reconsideration of our armed forces posture and readiness parameters based on the sound defence plan of the Czech Republic taking in consideration variety of employment modalities stemming from the set of potential planning scenarios; (3) ensuring sustainable support for defence policy implementation through the provision of adequate resources while keeping up with the political commitments made in Wales and Warsaw; (4) putting even more emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency, overall performance, enhanced transparency and accountability.



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