Czech soldiers not required for ally operation in Afghanistan for the time being
Czech soldiers - a rapid deployment unit from the town of Prostejov - are not required for the on-going anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan, as was originally planned. Although the Czech Republic was among the first countries to offer help, the British, who command the current international operation in Afghanistan aimed at stabilizing the country, told the Czech Defence Minister, Jaroslav Tvrdik on Tuesday they did not, for the time being at least, require Czech soldiers. Alena Skodova spoke with the Deputy Defence Minister, Stefan Fule:
Was it because we offered just a small unit and bigger units were required?
"This might be one of the explanations, people could recall that originally we were speaking about 5,000 troops, then during discussions it was agreed with the Afghans this would be around 3,000 troops, a specific mandate was discussed, specific goals for those troops, and it has also been decided to keep the list of the contributing countries as short as possible. So a simple answer to your question is 'yes'."
But we still have a well prepared chemical unit and it will be deployed...
"Yes, it will. I think we are ready at this stage to solve practical issues and in fact implement various stages of our deployment, we have commanders going to the region in mid-January, we have a preparatory party going there in mid-February, and just in the first days of March the full scope of the Czech unit will be sent to the region."