Wednesday, November 23, 2022

What Does a Real Military Buildup Look Like?

We need more and more clear and direct talk like this from senior uniformed leaders throughout NATO;

In a remarkable speech in Prague today, the Czech Republic’s most senior army leader demanded, as an “absolute necessity.” that the service embarks on its “biggest rearmament” ever.

Major General Karel Řehka, chief of the General Staff of the Czech Republic Army, told delegates at the Command Assembly convened to announce the army’s strategic and procurement plans for 2023 that “serious challenges await us,” as he reflected on the “crisis” in Ukraine.

“The biggest rearmament of the army in the country’s history is no longer just a wish, but an absolute necessity,” Řehka said.

Russia’s actions have left the Czech Army with many urgent tasks that can no longer be postponed, he said, before unveiling a five point plan covering long-term priorities.

The Czechs are an interesting bunch. In my travels in Central Europe earlier this year, I spent a few days in Prague and most of the other capitals of the nations of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Nowhere were there more Ukrainian flags than in Prague. Since the start of the war they backed up this vibe with substantial and ongoing military support. 

As in most things, you have to look for steadfastness, follow through and ... follow the money.

With a population of only a little more than 10-million souls, less than Belgium, there is only so much the Czechs can do, but they can pull their fair share of the effort. Sadly, the last two decades of disinterest has left the once mighty Czech defense industry flat footed.

She has good company in the alliance, as we've discussed before.

She has a lot of work to do not just to support herself, much less have spare capacity to continue to support the Ukrainian defense against Russian aggression. 

Look at the quote above again and see the path the Czechs have to go just to get to the 2% floor.

All should applaud the effort, but also have an understanding of the limitations here and from other NATO members who coasted through the previous decade.

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