the Internal and External Security of the State, Their Status at Present,
the Basic Ways to Resolve Them," Czechoslovakia's Plans for Future
Changes in Military and National Security Policies, July 1968 (Excerpts)
Source: TsKhSD, F. 5, O. 60, D. 310, LI. 121–153.
The State-Administrative Department of the CPCz Central Committee, headed by General Václav
Prchlík drafted this report in early July 1968. In its final form, the report would have provided the basis
for changes in military and security policies scheduled to be discussed at the 14th CPCz Congress in
Although the report states that Czechoslovakia "will take as a starting point its allied obligations before
the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact," the Prchlík plan sought to redefine the whole nature of the alliance
as well as Czechoslovakia's place within it. Internally, the report called for changing the "erroneous and
obsolete premises" of Czechoslovak military doctrine, ending direct party control of the armed forces,
and revamping the "illegal and inhumane "internal security apparatus. Externally, restrictions imposed
by the Warsaw Pact, according to the authors, were contributing to the "deformations" and "recurrent
crises" in civil-military relations in Czechoslovakia. These restrictions prevented the Czechoslovak
leadership from developing "any conception of our own military doctrine," which would take full account
of the country's "circumstances and capabilities" and would reject the "unrealistic and dangerous
scenarios" that had long been the inspiration for the Pact's military doctrine.
Among those "scenarios "was nuclear war in Europe which, according to the report, would be "purely
senseless "and would "bring about the total physical destruction of the ČSSR." At the time, the Soviet army
had several secret agreements with Czechoslovakia entitling them to deploy nuclear weapons on Czecho-
slovak territory during an emergency and authorizing the Soviet Union to store nuclear warheads at three
sites in western Czechoslovakia which were under construction at the time of the Prague Spring. The report's
language implied that a military doctrine appropriate for Czechoslovakia would eschew nuclear weapons
and nuclear warfare—a challenge to the most sensitive aspect of the Czech-Soviet military relationship.
Shortly before the invasion, a copy of this document was leaked to S. I. Prasolov, a counselor at the Soviet
embassy, on a "highly confidential" basis by "Czechoslovakfriends"—presumably from the Czechoslovak
People's Army or State Security. The materials were then transmitted by the Soviet ambassador, S. V.
Chervonenko, to a number of top Soviet officials, including Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, Defense
Minister Andrei Grechko, and the two most senior CPSU CC officials who were directly handling the
crisis, Konstantin Katushev and Konstantin Rusakov. In his cover memorandum, marked "TOP SECRET, "
Chervonenko noted that the main author of the report was the "infamous General Prchlík."
(See also Documents Nos. 68, 69, and 70.)
PROBLEMS WITH THE POLICY OF SAFEGUARDING THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SECURITY OF THE STATE, THEIR STATUS AT PRESENT, AND THE BASIC WAYS OF RESOLVING THEM
State-Administrative Department90 of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party
I.1. In this report we examine the contemporary situation and current problems of the party's policy on defense and the protection of security. We seek to define the basic directions and main
90 This was an alternative name for the Eighth Department, which Prchlík headed.