Van Dijk: Use billions for defence in a better way

1 June 2022

Van Dijk: Use billions for defence in a better way

Foto: SP / pxhere.com

The billions that the government has made available for defence can be put to better use,' says SP MP Jasper van Dijk in response to Minister Ollongren's defence memorandum. Higher wages for personnel are justified, but the government has gone completely overboard. More than five billion extra comes down to an increase of the defence budget by forty percent. This is mostly a party for the arms industry.

Van Dijk can understand that countries are looking at their national defence since Putin's illegal attack on Ukraine. But this cannot be a reason for a new costly arms race. With over 300 billion dollars, the EU spends much more on defence than Russia (90 billion), NATO with 1000 billion even more than ten times as much. It is more important to spend the current budgets in a smarter manner and to work closely with neighbouring countries.

There is no reason to start a costly militaristic project that will mainly benefit the arms lobby. Moreover, it is questionable whether all plans can be realised due to the enormous personnel shortage in defence. It would be better to work on an armed force that best suits the Netherlands. This does not require expensive JSF fighter jets, cruise missiles or armed drones. By using this kind of megalomaniac weaponry, the Netherlands will only contribute to a new, long-lasting cold war in which polarisation will increase.

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