On Wednesday, October 30, CEPA led a roundtable discussion on the future of defense and security in the Czech Republic. The event was held in cooperation with the CEVRO Institute and considered the Czech Republic’s leadership of—and participation in—wider regional security initiatives; its goals for deepening national specialization and capabilities inside NATO; and the strategic importance of smart defense industrial cooperation with the United States.

The conversation featured introductory remarks from LTG Jaromír Zůna, First Deputy Chief of Defense of the Czech Republic, MG Jiří Verner, Deputy Chief of Defense, Director of the Joint Operations Center in the Czech Republic, Martin Povejšil, Deputy Minister of Security and Multilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Alexandr Vondra, Member of the European Parliament and Honorary Chairman of the Center for Transatlantic Relations of the CEVRO Institute. The event was moderated by LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at CEPA and Peter B. Doran, President and CEO of CEPA.

The Czech Republic's military modernization plan is moving forward, with new investments and acquisitions continuing for the next several years based on the strategy laid out in 2018. In that blueprint, the Czech Armed Forces aim to eliminate outdated, Soviet-era equipment in favor of modern technology that upholds NATO standards. This is a significant step toward interoperability between allies.

During the discussion, participants considered how should threats in the Central European (CE) neighborhood shape Czech defense investments, how can the Czech Republic set an example for NATO allies as one of the first CE countries to undertake serious military modernization efforts, and what can the United States, the Czech Republic, and other allies do to ensure that the Alliance is ready to face the dangers of today and tomorrow?

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Peter B. Doran

LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges