Young fathers needed on defence missions

Thousands of extra recruits will be needed if the proposal not to send fathers with young children on military missions abroad is introduced, according to a ministry of defence report, quoted in today’s Volkskrant.

There is a great deal of interest in such a ruling among young fathers, the report says, but the ministry warns that some 5,000 to 6,000 new recruits would be needed to offset the loss of manpower.
The defence ministry undertook the investigation at the urging of parliament, which wants equality between male and female military personnel. Women with children under the age of four are not sent abroad, but according to the ministry this is a small group and easily replaced.
The report will be handed to junior defence minister Cees van der Knaap on Tuesday evening. The liberal party (VVD) has already supported the move. Last year 2,000 fewer people joined the armed forces than the 7,200 needed each year.

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