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Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010
Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010
Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010
Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010
Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010
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Czech Republic Defence and Security Report 2010

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In March 2009, the Czech Republic's three-party coalition government collapsed after losing a vote of no confidence, mainly because of its handling of the economic situation. However, the economy is predicted to grow by 1.8% in 2010 and 3.1% in 2011. The main political event of note was US President Barack Obama's cancellation of the planned installation in the Czech Republic of an X-band radar, intended by his predecessor to be an integral part of the Europe-based element of the US's missile shield programme. A scaled-down version may include interceptors for later deployment on land in Eastern Europe. The decision, officially based on a reassessment of Iran's capabilities, was regarded by many observers as a measure taken by the US to get Moscow on side for further sanctions against Iran. In late October 2009, the new caretaker prime minister, Jan Fischer, agreed to host elements of the reformulated system. The question of Czech participation in US Ballistic Missile Defence ' which is not well supported by the public ' will be a factor in the forthcoming 2010 election campaign. The growing distance from the US may also result in the formerly Euro-sceptic Czechs and Poles growing closer to the EU. The far right is feared to be on the rise in the Czech Republic, with several members of the neo-Nazi White Justice organisation arrested for preparing terrorist attacks against prominent Jews and police officers. The threat from international terrorism is low, although a risk remains due to the country's continuing involvement in Afghanistan. There is an ongoing indirect threat from weapons and nuclear materials trafficking across Eastern and Central European borders. The pace of army reform has resulted in the creation of highly mobile forces and operations for multinational deployments, with the Czech army ' albeit in small numbers ' continuing to be involved in NATO and UN operations, including specialist nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance. The Czechs now believe the privatisation and consolidation of their defence industry has enabled it to align with supply chains of prime contractors in the 'old' and 'new' EU. In 2008, the country's main defence company, Aero Vodochody, declared its highest profit ' US$23.6mn ' since 2002. Much depends on how defence small and medium-sized enterprises can obtain financing in the middle of a credit crunch and on the continuity of medium- and long-term defence planning, upon which companies will base their attempts to bid successfully for new defence contracts. There have been substantial cuts in defence spending, which is not set to meet the NATO requirement of at least 2% of the country's GDP until at least 2014.

Published in: Travel, News & Politics
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