Final Word from Wednesday, June 4, 2014



On the same day that Bohuslav Sobotka said that the CR "will not be among the countries calling for a strengthening of Nato units in Europe," Defense Minister Martin Stropnický offered air-defense capabilities to the Baltic countries. Strictly speaking, that too would be an expansion of Nato's presence in Europe. Perhaps Sobotka made a slip of the tongue, or perhaps he wasn't up to speed with what his minister was doing; Sobotka is, after all, quite the amateur in security issues. If, however, we take his comment about not increasing Nato's presence in Europe at face value, we must conclude that it was an overt swipe at Barack Obama, who offered to expand U.S. presence on the Continent. By adopting a thinly veiled pro-Russian position, Sobotka is apparently trying to strengthen his own "Socialist" credentials. Instead of meeting with Obama in the White House in Nov., perhaps he should now meet with Putin in the Kremlin. [Czech Republic Russia United States of America army Vladimir]

Glossary of difficult words

slip of the tongue - a minor mistake in speech or writing;

up to speed - (of a person) fully informed or up to date;

at face value - at something's apparent significance or value; in the way that something was stated or presented;

overt - done or shown openly;

swipe - an attack or criticism;

thinly veiled - concealed or disguised as if with a veil, but only with a thin one, making the true meaning apparent.

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