Withdrawing from Afghanistan is cowardice that will cause further terrorist attacks, according to Czech President Miloš Zeman. He added that the Taliban will set up a terrorist center in Afghanistan and resume attacks around the world.
Zeman accused NATO and the United States of an abject failure that will affect security on a global scale.
In an interview with Parlamentní listy, Zeman pointed out that he criticized the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan both a year ago at the NATO summit in London and again at the NATO summit in Brussels. According to him, it is pure cowardice.
“The Taliban will set up a terrorist center in Afghanistan. That will cause the resumption of terrorist attacks practically around the globe. I would also like to remind you that I criticized the withdrawal of troops at the NATO summit in London a year ago. And now again, at the NATO summit in Brussels. I looked into the eyes of both Trump and then Biden and told them it was cowardice. Of course, they didn’t like to hear that, but it really is cowardice,” Zeman said.
According to him, NATO raises doubts about the legitimacy of its existence. He added that Czechia should reconsider its defense spending and focus on national defense instead of the “mandatory” two percent of GDP.
“We need to realize that when we increase defense spending, we expect some counter benefit for it, and that is protection against international terrorism. If NATO has failed in this, it should also lead to a reassessment of our defense spending and a greater emphasis on national defense,” he noted.
He further stated that Czech defense spending has, so far, been motivated more by the demands of the North Atlantic Alliance, and these demands are again motivated by the wishes of foreign armaments companies.
“So I think that now, when investing in NATO is a bit of a waste of money, our defense spending should focus on national defense, on national acquisitions,” he said in the interview.
“In other words, the emphasis on the national army and the nation-state would be a natural consequence of NATO’s failure in Afghanistan. It was the only opportunity in which NATO could fight. But barking at Russia and China is not interesting,” he added.
Zeman always supported missions in Afghanistan and the Sahel.
“As long as these missions existed, I also supported increasing our defense budget to the mystical two percent of GDP, and as the situation changed, my attitude logically changed,” he explained.
In the Sahel, Czech soldiers still operate in Mali.
Zeman further indicated that the Taliban could function thanks to opium revenues because Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, and it would have no problems with funding.
Title image: Czech President Miloš Zeman at the Prague Castle (President’s spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček/Twitter)