Van Bommel: Defence Minister Kamp is dragging Netherlands ever further into ‘dirty war’

16 December 2006

Van Bommel: Defence Minister Kamp is dragging Netherlands ever further into ‘dirty war’

With the participation in the NATO operation in the Panjaway Valley in Kandahar, Defence Minister Henk Kamp is dragging the Netherlands ever further into the dirty war in Afghanistan. SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel made the allegation in calling on the minister to appear this Tuesday before Parliament. Last Friday an operation began involving British, Danish and Estonian forces. According to reports, Dutch troops equipped with helicopters and fighter planes will also take part.

Harry van BommelIt is not clear when the Dutch soldiers will step in, or how long the operation will last, or what are the precise nature of the action's goals. “Parliament has not been informed about this operation,” Mr Van Bommel complained. “On Friday we could find out about it by looking at the Ministry of Defence website and in the press. Mr Kamp must explain for once what's going on, only a few months after some 1500 Afghans were killed in this area in a NATO operation. Which Dutch forces are involved, from where have they been redeployed, and what has this operation to do with the promised reconstruction? That's just a few of the questions prompted by this news.”

The Dutch troops are conducting a reconstruction operation in the province of Uruzgan. Only in the most extreme circumstances can help be offered to other NATO forces in other provinces. “This is a clear example of a war operation which is necessary to consolidate the so-called success of previous war operations,” said Van Bommel. “It was war and it remains war, while no progress is evident militarily or politically. Things have gone from bad to worse and neither the Dutch people nor their representatives in Parliament have been kept informed. The Netherlands should not be cooperating in these war actions.”

You are here