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The White Paper showed a way for savings

The Ministry of Defence department needs to save and in the interest of long-term budget stabilization it must limit investments in military capabilities whose development is not necessary. This is one of the conclusions of the White Paper on Defence as an important concept material, which will determine the vision and direction of the Army of the Czech Republic in the nearest future. Its content was first officially presented at IDET, where it was introduced to professional public by the First Deputy Minister of Defence Jiří Šedivý together with the Chief of General Staff of the Army of Republic Vlastimil Picek.

The White Paper notes, among other things, that the projected budgetary framework will allow to retain all previously existing capabilities of the armed forces until the lifetime expiry of their material support. At the same time it also divides military capabilities in four priority levels ranging from strictly necessary to complementary. Authors of the document give priority to selective reduction before general funding cuts that would mean weakening all abilities and moreover would not take care of the financial problems in the future. This specifically means that we should abandon for example the missile complex KUB and combat helicopters, further limiting is also expected in infantry fighting vehicles and the cancellation of at least one air base. The investigation is likely to affect the biological defence centre, which in the interest of its survival should seek partners for co-financing and further development among both the foreign allies and the civilian sector. Further savings should be brought through rationalization of both military and civilian parts of the Ministry of Defence, simplification of Army management structures and in particular the reform of the acquisition and control systems.

Work on the White Paper on Defence started already in late summer 2010 and a total of 150 experts from the military and civilian sphere involved in both the Defence department and outside participated in the preparation. The material also used NATO expertise and built on previous concepts, while reflecting the change of source options and a 20% reduction in the Ministry of Defence budget in the last two years. The proposals of the White Paper on Defence should be subject to Czech government discussions in the nearest future.

IDET 2011

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