Van Bommel demands explanation of evidence of Netherlands' participation in 'Enduring Freedom'

11 January 2008

Van Bommel demands explanation of evidence of Netherlands' participation in 'Enduring Freedom'

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel will use Tuesday's parliamentary question time to demand answers from Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop regarding Dutch involvement in military operations outside of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) territory. The unauthorised involvement was revealed by a German military officer in a newly-published book, Endstation Kabul.

Evidence presented by the author of Endstation Kabul, Achim Wohlgethan, concerning his work in Afghanistan in 2002, confirms earlier reports that Dutch and German commandos in Afghanistan have been active in the American war action 'Operation Enduring Freedom'. Such involvement would be in conflict with their political mandate, which was to contribute only to the ISAF peacekeeping mission.

Harry van Bommel“I want the minister to explain how this evidence accords with the complete denials which we heard from him earlier," said Van Bommel. "In his book, Wohlgethan gives an extensive report of the tasks which he was required to perform outside of the ISAF territory. Van Middelkoop has a lot of explaining to do.

"Little by little," the SP foreign affairs spokesman continued, "it is becoming clear that the separation between the peacekeeping mission of ISAF and the war action Operation Enduring Freedom has always been theoretical and artificial. It appears from these latest revelations that the division never meant much. The Netherlands' parliament and the Dutch public were really taken for fools, and the Americans' wishes clearly come before all other considerations as far as the government is concerned.”

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