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Dutch military mission to Afghanistan ends

Sunday 01 August 2010

The Dutch military mission to Afghanistan formally ended on Sunday with a flag-changing ceremony at Kamp Holland, the main Dutch base over the past four years.

The Dutch role is being taken over by American and Australian soldiers. No senior Dutch military staff or politicians attended the ceremony, news agency ANP reported.

Most of the 1,400 Dutch soldiers who were stationed in the southern province of Uruzgan have now left. The rest are preparing equipment to be brought back to the Netherlands.

24 deaths

In total 24 Dutch soldiers were killed and 140 injured in the four years the Netherlands has been part of the Nato mission.

In a letter to soldiers, foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said he had been impressed by the professionalism shown by Dutch soldiers. 'The Netherlands has taken its reponsibility and put its shoulders to the task of rebuilding Afghanistan and making it safe,' he said.

The Dutch government collapsed in February after the Labour party refused to comply with a Nato request to extend its mission or set up an Afghan police and army training programme.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I was born in Holland and emmigrated to Canada at the age of 5. During the course of my life I have always been extremely proud of my Dutch heritage. I find the pull out of Dutch troops from Afghanistan very troubling, both for myself and as well as, I'm sure, many of the troops. I served in the Canadian military and I couldn't imagine the feeling of having to end a mission before it's completion. This may well happen to our Canadian troops as well. There's no pride to be had in that. And so I say to the Dutch troops, be proud of your accomplishments. And to the Dutch government, shame on you.

By Peter Budel | 1 August 2010 11:52 PM

I appreciate the Dutch Government and Dutch people for
being brave and making their voice clear to the US warmongers.
War is not the solution to any problem. I hope it triggers other NATO countries to bring back their army. NATO countries have to learn to talk to the people they have problem with, as most of the people are not for war in the NATO countries.

By Vanniarajan | 2 August 2010 12:18 AM

The Dutch have a responsibility to fulfill their comment to NATO. There will be a price to pay down the road for this betrayal. The Netherlands violates EU and humanitarian laws whenever they feel the advantage is in their favor. We are becoming too inward thinking, turning into a right-wing xenophobic State.

By Quince | 2 August 2010 3:17 PM

The Dutch military should keep to their NATO commitment.

By Frank Allen | 2 August 2010 5:29 PM

First, let me extend my thanks to the Dutch military personnel who served so well, despite unconscionable restrictions and the whining of so many of their gutless countrymen. Now, however, the real battle starts, for you will be castigated for the courage you have shown so professionally.

Secondly, it would be well to note that the great mass of Dutch have historically relied on the rest of the world to fight their battles for them. Restoring what passes for freedom in the Netherlands has been the task other countries have shouldered and for which many foreigners have died. There is little gratitude or recognition by the Dutch, but then, little could be expected from arrogant, self-centered ingrates.

Lastly, again for the Dutch armed forces personnel, professionals from around the world welcome you in our ranks. While your own country may not be grateful for your accomplishments or welcome you home, we kindred souls do: Welcome home!

By Drawer22 | 2 August 2010 5:47 PM

War is not a solution to a problem if we're not allowed to win it.

By Paula | 2 August 2010 8:07 PM

This is one thing I will always admire about the Dutch. They don't care what other think about them, they make a decision and stick to it.

These wars started by the USA needs to stop now! It would be interesting to count all the countries USA have occupied and how many civilians they have killed for the greater good. No one else but USA could get away with something like this.

By Dr. W | 3 August 2010 1:46 AM

I appreciate Dutch Government for taking this decision.This war need to be stop now.

By Sudaxina | 4 August 2010 10:29 AM

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