The Dutch police training mission in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz is costing €500,000 for every local police officer who goes through the programme, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
Since it began in July, the mission has cost €105m and 189 Afghan police officers have gone or are going through the training programme, the paper says. It bases the claims on defence ministry and Afghan police information.
The defence ministry said the figure is misleading because the cost of setting up the mission cannot be considered a direct cost. However, next year and in 2013 the mission is budgeted to cost €109m and in 2014, €94m, the paper says.
Ko Colijn, director of the independent research institute Clingendael, told the paper the €500,000 cost per police officer is ‘surprising’ but said the cost of the mission is not more expensive than for a lot of other countries.
In addition, failing to participate at all could hurt the Netherlands’ reputation, he said. ‘That could be more damaging for a small economy which, in addition, profiles itself as the legal centre for international law,’ he said.
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