Van Bommel urges earlier withdrawal of Dutch police trainers from Kunduz

3 September 2012

Van Bommel urges earlier withdrawal of Dutch police trainers from Kunduz

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel wants Dutch police trainers pulled out of the Afghan province of Kunduz earlier than planned. Explaining his concern, Van Bommel says ‘During the last few months an increasing number of Afghan police officers and military personnel have shot NATO trainers. This is the umpteenth indication that NATO's mission in Afghanistan is impracticable. More and more countries are withdrawing their troops, in some of them earlier than originally planned. That’s what the Netherlands should be doing too.’

Harry van Bommel An article in an American newspaper revealed yesterday that training of Afghan recruits has ceased on the orders of a NATO commander. 27,000 people already in service must be screened again for links with the insurgents. The commander took this decision in the wake of an upsurge in attacks by Afghan soldiers and police officers on their NATO allies. This year at least forty-five soldiers have died in this way. Some experts say that the proportion of soldiers’ deaths attributable to such attacks – 15% so far in 2012 - is without precedent in modern warfare. The article also made it clear that for some years the normal standards applied to the screening of recruits have not been adhered to.

‘Considering the intense pressure to train so many Afghan soldiers and police officers it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the rules on recruiting are not being properly observed,” says Van Bommel. ‘For the Netherlands it is of enormous importance whether all of this applies as much to soldiers and police officers in the province of Kunduz, where our people are stationed, as it does elsewhere. It’s vital that everything possible is done to prevent this sort of incident from occurring in Kunduz. The best way to do that is of course to pull the Dutch troops out of there as quickly as possible. As far as I’m concerned the minister could be making a start on this today.’

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