Monday, March 19, 2007

Dutch to leave afghanistan ... less than 50% public support on being in afghanistan! ...

Dutch military chief opposes extension to mission in Afghanistan
March 16, 2007 March 19 Pakistan News Service

Dutch troops in Afghanistan should return home after their mandate expires in a year's time, Dutch Commander of the Armed Forces Dick Berlijn has told Dutch newspaper the Algemeen Dagblad.

Berlijn said Dutch troops' mission in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan must be taken over at that time by another NATO country, the newspaper reported.

The remarks ran contrary to the United States' repeated calls in recent months for more troops contributions to Afghanistan from NATO allies. Up to now only Britain has agreed to send reinforcements to the Asian country.

The Netherlands has about 2,200 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Along with Britain, Canada and the United States, the Netherlands has been responsible for southern Afghanistan since last August.

Berlijn said that bringing the troops back after their two-year mission is completed will avoid excessive pressure on the military.

He said the smaller specialized units like the helicopter group and the engineering corps are bearing heavy burdens and troops of these units have to travel to Afghanistan more frequently to relieve the units there than the infantry.

An opinion poll late last year showed that the Dutch public was extremely skeptical about the mission in Uruzgan, with less than half of the population believing that the Dutch forces should be in Afghanistan.


janfromthebruce said...

And soon the domino effect from Iraq will hit the Afghan 'war.' To me these 'wars' are just one long front starting in Pal. Iraq and Afghan. Good for the Dutch, time to get out why the getting is good.