Civilians may be used in war zones

The ministry of defence is looking into the possibility of using civilians to work alongside soldiers in war zones. Defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop has asked the advisory council on international affairs for its advice.

He told the Volkskrant on Tuesday that although the law currently forbids the use of mercenaries, there is a ‘grey area’ where mechanics and security firms are already active.
The Volkskrant says Van Middelkoop wants to know what legal and political responsibilities will result from the use of civilians. He is also interested in whether the use of foreign nationals is acceptable.
The Dutch already use East European crews for transport planes in war zones. In Uruzgan Dutch soldiers work with personnel from the American firm DynCorp, most of whom are former soldiers or policemen.
A defence ministry spokesman told the paper that they are also thinking in terms of kitchen staff. ‘At the moment a highly paid soldier has to do the cooking,’ he said.

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