Holanditis is back

Dutch liberal parliamentary member Arend Jan Boekestijn of the liberal party (VVD) is visiting Afghanistan. But before I continue, I like to note that the liberal VVD is in the Netherlands considered a rightwing party. Thus the views of Boekestijn on the Dutch military tactics can be expected to be shared by a majority of the Dutch politicians. On his web log Boekestijn writes the following about his visit:

The military informs us about the Dutch approach, which is hailed today in foreign newspapers [he must be referring to this Tmes article]. Dutch soldiers don’t seek the confrontation with the Taliban. They focus on winning the hearths and minds by rebuilding projects. That seems to work. The area they control is growing.

But it is a problem that the Americans and Canadians choose a much more aggressive approach. This of course gives our soldiers coordination problems. For example, it is possible that Taliban fighters flee from Kandahar to Uruzgan.

Nonetheless the Dutch seem to have success [with this strategy]. Dutch soldiers for example are being much less attacked than the American and Canadians. Although we still have to see how the Dutch will do in the coming spring offensive.


Thus one could say, that Holanditis is making a comeback as a defining term for Dutch foreign policy. Let’s just hope that our troops with their pacifist leadership are not creating a stingy hornet nest for them selves from which they later cannot escape. But then again, if things really get messy, you can always count on those aggressive Americans to help you out, before fleeing the scene your self…

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