Czech progressives slam plans to permanently deploy US military in the country

In the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, ministers of the Czech Republic have been indicating their intention to negotiate with the US on the presence of a base in the country

May 02, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Czech defense minister Jana Černochová at a press conference in March.

Progressive sections in the Czech Republic have criticized plans to allow the permanent stationing of US military troops in the country. Various groups including the Czech Peace Movement (CMH), Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), Young Communists (MK), Communist Youth Union (KSM), and others raised strong objection to statements made by representatives of the incumbent center-right government that favor plans to allow a permanent foreign military base inside the Czech Republic. On April 27, communist leader and CMH chairman Milan Krajca urged the government to reject the deployment of foreign troops, bases and weapons in the country.

With the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, advocates of militarism have been on a roll, especially in Eastern Europe, urging governments to increase military spending, buy and stockpile arms and ammunition, send men and ammunition to Ukraine, and even open new military bases across the region for US-led NATO’s military maneuvers. 

Earlier this month, Czech defense minister Jana Černochová hinted at opening talks with her US counterpart regarding the permanent deployment of US military troops in the country. Czech deputy prime minister Marian Jurečka even suggested places like Mosnov and Prerov in as suitable locations for a military base. Even though Czech prime minister Petr Fiala did not fully endorse the defense minister’s plan, he revealed that there may be negotiations for a defense agreement with the US, which most countries in the region already have.

In response to the government’s plans for further militarization of the country, Czech communists and the peace movement have formed a committee, including personalities like Union of Czech Writers chairman Karel Sýs, spokesperson of the No Bases initiative, Eva Novotná, communist leader Josef Skála, and editor of Haló Noviny newspaper, Monika Hoření. The committee has initiated a petition against the presence of foreign troops on the territory of the Czech Republic.

Krajca said in a statement, “We strongly protest against efforts to build and operate a US military base in the Czech Republic, whether it is in Mosnov, Prerov or anywhere else. Such a step would mean a direct threat to the citizens of the Czech Republic and the danger of an even more intense cloudburst of our country into further rounds of arms.”

KSCM leader Kateřina Konečná told the media earlier, “I do not want the Czech Republic to be another place with the base of the USA (there are over 800 of them in the world). I do not want our citizens to be a potential target, especially not while the US does what it wants and raises tensions in the world.”

Earlier this year, Czech communists and the peace movement organized a major mobilization against the government’s decision to provide Ukraine with armaments and support NATO’s maneuvers. 

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