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A Frenchie travelling the world...

17 March 2011

Dutch Army plans revisited

Dear readers,

My girlfriend had a funny remark this morning about the Dutch armed forces. Apparently, the new defence budget of the Netherlands includes no replacement for its tanks or transport helicopters. She said: "what is the point of a modern army without tanks? They really should get rid of it completely if they can't do it seriously". I had to laugh but to give her the point.

I had read yesterday that its submarine forces (already reduced to three after the damages sustained by the 4th) would be scrapped too. At the same time, the Dutch Defence Ministry is reserving billions of dollar for the basic (non VTOL version) of the US made JSF. And anyone with a ounce of reason will think: WTF? Why buy an extremely expensive plane (the most expensive there is, in fact) to a non-European entity, undermining European defence? Why the version least useful for external intervention and force projection? Why on the other hand refuse to replace the materials actually useful in today's world affairs: submarines, helicopters and armour? I thought about it a little bit and no rationale reasoning came to me.

But then I realized there is a simple explanation: follow the money. The Dutch coalition is made of VVD and CDA (right wing, near to Dutch big money and business interests). Their own interest is not to improve the Dutch defence capabilities or the European coordination. Their interest is to fill in their pockets and the ones of their business friends. Search no further... I suspect that the US industrials (and particularly the ones making the JSF) are ranking highly amongst these friends.

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