Prague - States establish their armed forces to ensure their external security and the military has always been an important instrument of (not only) foreign policy - whether this applies to deterrence, or direct participation in war going on close to or faraway from the state borders, Frantisek Sulc writes in Mlada fronta Dnes.
Na budově Generálního štábu Armády ČR v Praze byla 8. července kvůli smrti čtyř českých vojáků v Afghánistánu stažena vlajka na půl žerdi. ČTK Vondrouš Roman
Commenting on the death of four Czech soldiers in Afghanistan on Monday, he writes that most soldiers are not soldiers to become "heroes," a word that is mainly popular in the civilian world, that tends to embellish the military world and to lend it meanings that it does not have, Sulc writes.
The relationship of Czechs to the military is relatively complicated, also for historical reasons. The Czech military is a clear example of the transformation which this country has undergone. The current ethos, tradition and following up of history have formed a different military than what survivors remember and what often causes the the military to be perceived with some ridicule, Sulc writes.
In connection with the tragedy in Afghanistan, people should think about broader aspects, about that the military force is a founding stone of the state and that soldiers primarily serve the citizens, irrespective of whether they do so within the Czech border or far away abroad, Sulc writes.
The death of Czech soldiers should also provoke critical debates about the Afghan mission, journalist Bretislav Turecek, who has spent many years covering developments the Middle East, writes in Lidove noviny (LN).
He writes that the Czech engagement in a remote war should be debated without pathos and more thoroughly than until now, if for nothing but those who died there or returned with traumas which are not much talked about in public, Turecek writes.
Platitudes about the fight for democracy and against terror cannot be accepted as the sole admissible truth. For this people already have too many pieces of information. And what is more, it can be seen where Afghanistan and the whole Middle East is heading today. In spite of the West´s well-meant interventions, and also because of them, Turecek writes.
The Czech government coalition, which calls itself pro-European, is pretending as if it comprehended nothing about the forming of the European Commission, and it in fact functions as a secret agent of the Eruophobes, into whose hands the weak position of the country and an indifferent public play, Petr Honzejk writes in Hospdoarske noviny (HN).
He is commenting on the Czech government´s delays in choosing a candidate for European commissioner.
True, it may not be important what post the Czechs will get on the commission because the commissioners do not protect the interests of their countries, but are a part of a neutral bureaucratic structure, Honzejk writes.
However, after years of overlooking the EU for several years, the Czechs need to improve their informal position, to reinforce the weight of the Czech element in the Union, without which it will be difficult to defend national interests, Honzejk writes.
A strong portfolio is important for one more reason. If the Czechs get telecommunications for instance, this can break through their indifference to the Union, demonstrated by absence from Euro elections, Honzejk writes.