Former defence minister Joris Voorhoeve warns that the Dutch peacekeeping role in Afghanistan will be an ‘endless mission’ unless the government sets clear limits on the availability of its troops in the region.
Dutch troops are due to leave Afghanistan in August 2008 but the new cabinet is already considering extending their mandate. In an interview with magazine Vrij Nederland this week, Voorhoeve says the Netherlands will become stuck in Uruzgan if other countries do not get involved.
‘If we do not make it clear to our allies that they cannot count on us indefinitely then things will go wrong,’ Voorhoeve says. ‘We should not be the victim of our own idealism.’ Voorhoeve was defence minister during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.
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