Friday 26 February 2021

Dutch armed forces need a much bigger budget: report

soldiers marchingThe Dutch army needs an extra €3.3bn to €5.7bn a year in order to fulfill its role in potential regional conflicts, according to the government’s international policy advisory council AIV.

The Netherlands will not be able to contribute properly if there is an escalation of the conflict on the Russian borders or in the Middle East because it is in such a ‘dismal’ position, the AIV says.

The current situation is untenable, AIV deputy chairman Alfred van Staden told the Volkskrant. ‘Our armed forces have become extremely vulnerable,’ he said.

The AIV says the defence budget should be raised gradually from 1.1% of GDP to 1.6%. This would mean a rise from €7.1bn to €10.4bn given the current economic position. If GDP continues to grow, defence spending should rise to €12.8bn a year, the AIV says.

The AIV is also highly criticial of the current Dutch relationship with Russia.

‘Russia is no longer a partner but an opponent,’ said Van Staden. ‘But the Dutch government would appear to think that it will be business as usual in two or three years.’

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