Czech ambassador to NATO: The alliance is undergoing a once-in-a-generation transformation
Czech ambassador to NATO: The alliance is undergoing a once-in-a ... Radio Prague International
Meeting of Czech diplomats at Czernin Palace
“As in every war, it depends on the result and in every war there are two distinct possibilities –either we win or we lose. If you believe that you will win –or lose –you will be right in both cases. You need to believe in victory to make it happen.
“If we win, this will stop the usage of power as a tool to change the borders of countries, which means returning to the stable period of our history, returning to the UN Charter and global stability. If we win it will confirm the right of nations to decide their own fate, including Ukraine’s decision to join NATO, the EU and to fulfil their destiny within Euro-Atlantic structures. So the freedom of action of states will be reconfirmed. If we win, Russia will lose part of its ability to project power by force through its neighboring environment.
If we lose, stabilized potential conflicts throughout the world –I’m talking India, China, Pakistan, African countries –will unthaw and will cause trouble to our prosperity, economy, livelihood and even basic needs.
“On the other hand, if we lose, we will lose the international order as we know it. Certain countries will be bolstered by the fact that use of force is again permissible and also useful in gaining your goals, and stabilized potential conflicts throughout the world –I’m talking India, China, Pakistan, African countries –will unthaw and will cause trouble to our prosperity, economy, livelihood and even basic needs. Because – and it sounds like a truism, but I cannot help saying it, the world is so much connected that we will suffer even though the conflict will happen far, far away.
“This was true even in the past. Friends here at the ambassadorial gathering reminded me that in the 15th century it was said that who holds the Malacca Strait holds a knife to the throat of Venice. And that’s like 500 years ago. Imagine it in a world connected by internet, computers, free flow of capital, ideas and multiply this interdependency by gazillion.
“So we need to win. And it is not only a question of Ukraine, not only a question of Europe, it is a question of the world order.”
How has this war changed NATO? In terms of its defense strategy, but also relations within the alliance.
“It is a generational change. It does not happen so often and I feel that I am particularly blessed – and I feel guilty about it – to be part of this once-in-a-generation change. With a slight hint of cynicism, Afghanistan kept NATO in shape and alive, ready for this once-in-a-generation transformation. Our organization is coming back to the concept of collective security as a paramount interest of all its allies and it is bringing together plans, forces, command structure and alert systems that will conduct the collective defense in the fashion of the 21st century. And this organization, currently the strongest military alliance in the world, will modernize itself and forge the political environment into a more actionable state so that nobody will be able to disrupt this defensive alliance by force.”
Has it made NATO stronger? Has it made it more close-knit?
“Definitely. It reinforced the transatlantic link, it made Europe and the EU wake up from the dream of peace. It modernized the military structures within the alliance and brought resources. The US was paying attention to resources from the first – largely disregarded – impulse, the Crimean war in 2014. They said We need to do it together and 2 percent is the basic requirement for doing it together.”
And Czechia has now speeded up plans to meet that requirement in 2024.
“Yes, we have speeded that up and we are credible. One thing is to forge the political will, another thing is to implement it and make it credible. I think we have done heaps of things in both regards.”
Czechia was the first country to send tanks to Ukraine and has been a staunch supporter in many ways since the war started. Has that improved our standing in NATO?
“Definitely. I recall the first morning after the war broke out and I spoke with Czech officials about the need to help. But, the first to respond were the Czech people who showed tremendous solidarity, offering help and gathering money and the state outdid itself by delivering so much military aid. Our prime minister said that if you spread it out over the 550+ days of war – it is one infantry vehicle or tank a day. We were the pioneer in heavy weapons imports to Ukraine and that swayed the others to do it sooner. And time is critical in these deliveries.
“We are a nation that sits in the middle of Europe, but also in the middle of NATO in terms of paying attention to the Southern agenda, to terrorism and to Africa. I think we are not single-mindedly focused only on Russia. Of course, Russia is the biggest threat, but the good news is that if you build a robust enough structure for collective defense, terrorism is just a side task –it can be covered by this structure, because collective defense is a much bigger task, much harder logistically and resource-wise. So you can have a single structure that is able to address both threats –Russia and terrorism – at the same time.
“And also, add to this, that NATO will predetermine the task in collective defense for each nation. So we will have an elaborate plan which will say what is
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
- SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 16.1: Reduce violence and related death rates
- SDG 16.3: Promote the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice
- SDG 16.4: Reduce illicit financial and arms flows
- SDG 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
Yes, the article mentions several indicators that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. These include:
- Reduction in violence and death rates
- Implementation of the rule of law and access to justice
- Reduction in illicit financial and arms flows
- Strengthening of global partnerships for sustainable development
Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
|SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions||16.1: Reduce violence and related death rates||Reduction in violence and death rates|
|SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions||16.3: Promote the rule of law and ensure equal access to justice||Implementation of the rule of law and access to justice|
|16.4: Reduce illicit financial and arms flows||Reduction in illicit financial and arms flows|
|16.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development||Strengthening of global partnerships for sustainable development|
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