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National Security

For over a decade, the Czech Republic has made significant contributions to coalition and NATO operations in Afghanistan, including the establishment of a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Logar Province. Czech Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams and Air Mentoring Teams provide training and assistance to Afghan security forces.

Over the past two decades, the Czech Armed Forces have been gradually transformed from a Warsaw Pact-era force of 200,000 to that of a NATO Ally whose 30,000 troops are more mobile, deployable, and interoperable. Major strides have been made in reforming the military personnel structure, and efforts are underway to increase the efficiency and transparency of the military acquisition system, and to improve the quality of long- and medium-range strategic planning. Compulsory military service ended in December 2004. After becoming a NATO member in 1999, the Czechs spent roughly 2% of GDP on defense through 2005; however, the defense budget has been gradually shrinking since then, and now represents barely 1% of GDP, with projected cuts threatening to take it well below 1% in the next 2 years.