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In the service of imperialism - Czech Republic's experience of 11 years membership in NATO

Criminal birth-mark of membership in NATO

The very incorporation of the Czech Republic into NATO organization was connected with a bloody criminal act committed by NATO. The timing of Czech Republic's entering NATO on 12th March 1999 did not by coincidence preceded just 12 days the imperialist aggression of NATO against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which started a 78 days barbaric bombing of Yugoslavia, occupation of Kosovo and Metohija and subsequent declaration of "independence" of US/EU protectorate Kosovo. The Czech Republic's ruling class took its deal of responsibility for this criminal act and subsequent NATO policy against resistance and discontent of a large part of the Czech and Moravian society expressed in mass protest demonstrations organized predominantly by the Communists.

The government also refused all calls to hold referendum on entering NATO. The ruling forces obviously were not sure about the possible results of such a referendum. One of important features of the Czech Republic's membership in NATO thus was denial of its popular consultation by the ruling class and a clear absence of its popular approval.


Military budget and rising army expenditures

In the period after the entrance of the Czech Republic to NATO in 1999 we can see generally a significantly rising trend in army spending. For example, while the expenditures of Ministry of Defence in 1998, that is one year before joining NATO, were in amount of 1 448 billions EUR, in 2005 this number rose to incredible 2 248 billions EUR. That means 52% increase in 7 years.

Since 2005 the Army of the Czech Republic became a fully professional army that means that a universal conscription or in other words national service principle based army was transformed into a professional mercenary principle based army. While in 1993 the Ministry of defence had almost 132 000 employees including the soldiers, in 2009 the number of personnel decreased to 35 000. In other word, while the number of personnel between 1993 and 2009 fell to almost one quarter, the expenditures rose more that 100%.

A part of this development was also a purchase or a lease of military equipment. As an example it is possible to mention just two cases that were typically connected with enormous corruption charges which were positively investigated by police and anti-corruption authorities in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and UK.
In 2004 the Czech government signed a contract with Swedish corporation SAAB regarding a 10 years leasing of 14 fighter jets SAAB Jas 39 - Gripen in a total amount of 770 millions EUR. The fighter jets are of course used for NATO interests. Four of them were for example employed in 2009 in Lithuania in order to control the NATO air-space over the Baltic states. This way the Czech Army capacities are misused in a NATO policy of extension of the pact into the territory of the former USSR and of encirclement of the Russian Federation.

Another case of misusing public finance for imperialist interests was a purchase of 107 armoured personnel carriers Pandur in a total amount of 560 millions EUR in 2008. The Czech government bought these carriers from a Steyr corporation which was owned by a giant US General Dynamics corporation. The sales commission for a positive deal which should have been paid to a lobbyist contracted by Steyr corporation was more that 36 millions of EUR paid in taxes by the working people to the state budged. One of major declared purposes of use of these carriers were foreign military missions, including Afghanistan, were fortunately these carriers finally turned out to be hardly usable because of their high weight and insufficient armouring and equipment. In any case, it was an excellent deal for General Dynamics corporation which managed to receive 5,2 millions EUR for each one Pandur while in a similar deal with the Portuguese government it was only 1,5 millions EUR.

Czech Republic as an accomplice in NATO, US and EU aggressions and occupations
The mercenaries of the armed forces of the Czech Republic were used in the past in imperialist aggressions and occupations for example in Iraq, in the Balkans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Macedonia, in Serbian Krajina inside contemporary Croatia or in African Chad.
They are currently used in the intervention missions in Afghanistan and in the Balkans. In Serbian Kosovo occupied by NATO forces after the aggressive NATO war against Yugoslavia there are 550 Czech Army mercenaries located at a military base in Šajkovac.

In the case of Afghanistan there was deployed until 2009, among other Czech personnel also a Special Operations Group of the Czech Military Police which was used in direct combat operations in a province of Helmand. Until December 2009 also a Special Operations Group Nr. 601 was deployed in Afghanistan and used in battle fights in the province of Uruzgan under direct US command.

To suggest the nature of the personnel used in the imperialist missions by the Czech state it is possible to mention evidence of some members of the Special Operations Group of the Czech Military Police. Some of its former members confessed that there were among them persons whose biggest dream was to kill somebody. They called it "to kill a bad boy". These "Rambos" even started to plan on their own without informing their superior officer armed activities to speed up "killing their bad boys". Even the Ministry of defence officially admitted that this elite army police unit degenerated. This unit evolved into conditions which were unbearable even for the Ministry to such an extent that finally it had to be completely reorganized.

Another illustration of the Czech Army mercenaries qualities, in 2009 after being ceremonially decorated by the Minister of defence Barták it was revealed by the journalists that two commanders of the elite 4th rapid deployment brigade wore during their whole Afghan mission on their helmets symbols of Nazi Waffen-SS division Hohenstaufen and of Waffen-SS brigade Dirlewanger whose members committed a number of crimes like violent robberies, violating women and killing of civilians suspected of supporting the partisans during the Slovak National Uprising in 1944.
The Czech Army support to the pro-US Afghan government was also expressed in material and training support. The Czech government e.g. modernized and donated 12 helicopters Mi-17 and Mi-24 to the Afghan National Army of Karzai´s pro-US government and provided the training of their personnel.

Currently, the Czech Army is present in the province of Logar, Paktika (helicopter unit) and in Kabul.

In July this year a new Czech right-wing government decided to send 50 more mercenaries to Afghanistan in September 2010 to secure the training of the Afghan armed forces in the province of Vardak. The number of the Czech Army mercenaries will then reach 533 persons.



In a sharp contrast to the socialist Czechoslovakia which had given enormous support to the anti-imperialist struggle, including providing weapons and training to the countries waging war against imperialist interventions, the Czech Republic as a NATO member serves as a loyal instrument of the USA, NATO and EU imperialist aggressions and occupations. The Communist Youth Union (KSM) in the Czech Republic has organized a number of campaigns against these policies and it is our task and honourable obligation to carry on our common anti-imperialist struggle together with other WFDY organizations.



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