It’s worth investing in defense

Another debate on the future of NATO took place in Prague in cooperation with think-thank CEVRO.

Alexandr Vondra, Honorary President of the Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations (CEVRO), Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations (CEVRO), opened the debate moderated by Martina Heranova, CEVRO coordinator, with the participation of Daniel Koštoval, former Deputy Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, Jacek Raubo, analyst from the Adam Mickiewicz University and the Defence 24 portal as well as Brendan Donelly, Director of the Federal Trust in the UK.

Daniel Kostoval, who spoke as the first outlined the path of both countries to joining the Transatlantic Alliance, recalling, among other things, the historical words spoken in Warsaw in 1997 by Bill Clinton: “Nothing about you without you. In his speech Danel Kostoval also outlined the differences between Poland and the Czech Republic in the approach to defence, including the readiness of Poles to make high investments in the defence system. While Polish government spending on defence is close to 2% of GDP set by NATO member states, the Czechs spend 1.2 GDP on it. Former Deputy Minister for Defence of the Czech Republic said:  “Czechs feel very secure in their country and Czech politicians do not see the need to increase defence spending” – these and other issues were raised during the debate during the presentation of the NATO publication in Prague, organized in cooperation with CEVRO, as part of a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

Jacek Raubo referred to the current debate on the need for internal changes in the organization of the alliance, postulating the need to introduce a package of NATO 2.0 reforms. He also emphasized the role of the media and think-thanks in informing and educating public opinion on the reality of various threats, not only military ones.

Brendan Donelly, argued that the EU could afford to take over NATO’s defence powers and that the unpredictable policy of President Donald Trump should convince European countries to create an alternative defence system, which triggered a heated debate not only with the audience but also between the panellists.

During the meeting, a publication of the ISW was presented: “NATO: 1940-1999-2019”, co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.