It was a pleasure to hear from the media that the Concept of the Build-up of the Czech Armed Forces 2030 was approved by the Czech Government yesterday. Even better, the incumbent Chief of the General Staff, Aleš Opata, wrote in his opening speech that this material is a direct extension of the concept approved by the Czech government at the end of 2015, which clearly outlined the tasks and commitments of the Armed Forces up to 2025. I had the privilege of being one of the people who prepared the latter document.
In the past, whenever the leaders of the Ministry of Defence or of the armed forces changed, they came up with new ideas (which were sometimes very rough), and the existing strategic documents became superfluous overnight. With hindsight, I can now say that continuity is one of the most important conditions for successfully managing the army and establishing its organisational structure. It is crucial to build upon what has already been implemented and what has proved useful.
My second comment on the new Concept concerns its validity. This document was not only approved by the Ministry of Defence, but also by the Government of the Czech Republic! It went through inter-ministerial and extra-ministerial comment procedure and was thoroughly assessed and evaluated. There have been innumerable negotiations and consultations involving not only Czech army commanders and ministry officials, but also foreign NATO institutions, EU institutions and other bodies. By saying this, I want to emphasize that there is no more need for seminars and conferences focused on quibbles and word-juggling (all too typical of the Czech Republic), or even trying to challenge this concept, which has been approved by the government and is therefore universally binding.
What the Czech Armed Forces need now is a clear and solid financial framework. At the same time, they should not be distracted from their work. I sincerely hope that the Concept will soon materialize and help Czech citizens live in peace and security.