Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very honored to have been able to sponsor the Future Forces Forum (FFF) international platform for defense and security trends and technologies for the year 2020. The strengthening of security is a key effort today. The aim is undoubtedly to encourage debate between top political leaders, experts, manufacturers, and members of the armed and security forces, not only in Europe but also worldwide.
Although our country is doing very well in terms of security – we are the eleventh safest country in the global rankings – we must not take this for granted. It is necessary to talk about security topics not only in closed professional circles, but also in public. The FFF initiative contributes to improving our ability to better face current and new threats and risks. It brings new perspectives on current issues and offers possible approaches to addressing threats of a military or non-military nature.
The global threat associated with the coronavirus pandemic cannot, and must not, be a reason to delay defense and security issues. On the contrary, the current situation is clear evidence of how fragile and easily vulnerable societies can be.
In order to better respond to security threats and challenges in a dynamic and ever-changing environment, we must not be pressured to reduce our defense budget. It is desirable to acquire the most modern technology designed to fight in the 21st century. I am very pleased that the issue of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous and robotic means, as well as, for example, cyber defense and security, continue to receive top priority, as they have in past FFFs.
Of course you know that I am very carefully monitoring the issue of unmanned aerial vehicles. My efforts created, among other things, a military unit within the ACR – the 533rd Battalion of Unmanned Systems – for which I solemnly placed a combat flag on October 6, 2020 and also presented in memoriam the honorary title of Major General Josef Duda.
I am convinced that the involvement of the domestic defense industry is a fundamental necessity. Please realize that the Czech Republic has had a long tradition in a great defense industry, and it would not be good for us to abandon this tradition.
Effective defense is the result of collective cooperation and it is very good that the FFF brings together representatives of the Czech Republic and representatives of the security community from NATO, the European Union and other countries. The Czech Republic's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union is one of the main pillars of our foreign policy. Personally, I believe that NATO should become a bit more aggressive and play a key role in security and the fight against terrorism. International terrorism is one of the great enemies of civilized countries, and terrorist acts are not linked to a specific country. In 2001 I said that there can be no negotiation with terrorists because they do not comply with standard rules of engagement. This statement continues to apply.
I am sure that this year's Future Forces Forum will move the issue of defense and security forward, as did the previous thirteen.
President of the Czech Republic