USA and European Security

Date of event: 4.4.2018

The Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations of the CEVRO Institute (PCTR) in cooperation with Jagello2000 held a public debate called “The USA and European security”. Our guests were Lt. Gen. Frederick Benjamin “Ben” Hodges (Ret.), who currently holds the Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Centre for European Policy Analysis, and Brig. Gen. Karel Řehka, Deputy Commander of NATO Multional Division North East (Poland) and the former Chief of the Czech Special Forces.

The public debate was opened and moderated by Alexandr Vondra, the PCTR Director.

The main message from our guest tells “Crisis should be avoided before it arrives”.

Nowadays the important thing for the Czech Republic is to improve the situation of infrastructure. They believe that it is necessary to build a better highway system in the Czech Republic and also to test the transit of tanks crossing bridges in reality, etc.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges highlights the threat of Russia. He thinks, the Russian people only respect the power. He believes that Russia does not want to occupy Poland, but wants to change the world by destroying NATO (by kinetic or cyber-attack, distortion of information). The alliance of the United States and the Czech Republic should therefore be prepared for the ability to find out information, to react and to move fast military units.

Brig. Gen. Karel Řehka expressed the need to do everything in order to avert potential conflict. We need to improve infrastructure and be united. Speed is a key element.

Questions in the discussion concerned not only the military preparedness of Europe and the European states’ infrastructure. There was also a question about the annexation of Crimea and information in Czech media.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges motivated us by saying: “We have a much better story than Russia, the story of a liberal West, and we have to pass that story further.” For the Czech Republic is very important to be a member of NATO and the EU.

The event was held with the kindly support of Česká zbrojovka a.s.