Looking For Military Cooperation in the Visegrad Group

Why the Visegrad Group did not manage a joint rescue team to Afghanistan?

18 August 2021

Lacklustre coordination and joint efforts hamper the Visegrad Four’s ability to develop closer military and political ties. Poland’s relative supersized influence and capabilities in the region and the EU do exacerbate the situation as does the current political rhetoric coming from Warsaw; however, several avenues remain for improvement if a strong political will emerges.

The current tragic collapse of the Afghan state against Taliban forces happens after twenty years of American intervention backed by NATO allies. All the Visegrad countries have been participating in the intervention since the outset, Czechia and Poland even being among the top 10 troop contributors.

Yet, despite sending overall very small contingents, V4 countries have never shown any willingness to coordinate their efforts in NATO’s intervention, like they did in Iraq in 2004 under Polish leadership. Nor is the current evacuation coordinated at the V4 level, whereas it could have been beneficial for everyone, even if only logistically.

This is not surprising. Military cooperation, despite regular declarations and some projects, has always been weak and is likely to remain so, not only because of recent developments but for structural reasons.

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Thomas Laffitte

Journalist at Le Courrier d’Europe centrale, an online French-speaking newspaper focusing on Central Europe. Graduate of International Relations at the Central European University.

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