20 years of almost no defense spending

There are times when Defense Min. Jana Černochová of ODS succeeds at her own form of humor, such as when she says (at 55m) that if she had had as many lovers as is rumored, she’d never get out of bed and would never go to work because it would be a full-time job. There are also times when she’s funny unintentionally, such as when she explains (at 1m) that for 20 years, Czech governments invested”almost nothing” into defense. In 2021, she said, it was only 1.3% of GDP. Hmm, this “almost nothing” in 2021 was still Kč 85.4bn. She’sfeeling the pressure to explain the planned 42.9% jump in defense spending next year, to Kč 159.8bn, at a time when the budgets of most other ministries are being slashed. It’s not as though money is just being sent out of the country, she said, and she cited the findings (at 1h18m) of “renowned international auditors” that determined the investment multiplier of defense contracts. The more she tries tojustify the government’s new commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense, the more questions she raises about what happened to thehundreds of billions that went to “almost nothing” over 20 years.

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