This week the Dutch armed forces were hit with the stiffest cuts in budget and capabilities in recent memory. DutchNews has the short version: One in six defence workers to go within four years.
Over 6,000 military service personnel and defence ministry civil servants are facing compulsory redundancies, ahead of Friday’s cabinet decision on how to make savings of €1bn in the defence budget, NOS television reports.
In total, 12,300 defence ministry jobs will go as part of the savings package, NOS says. Some 2,300 vacancies will not be filled and a further 4,000 people will not be replaced when they leave.
The ministry currently has a workforce of almost 69,000.
The job losses will affect all ranks in the defence ministry, according to government sources quoted in the Volkskrant.
Defence minister Hans Hillen also plans to scrap tanks and Cougar helicopters, to cut the 87 F-16 fighter jets by around a third and to sell off a number of naval vessels.
The controversial purchase of a second JSF fighter jet for €100m will go ahead to protect the participation of Dutch firms in its development and production.
The reporting makes it sound as if ‘some’ tanks are scrapped, but in actuality all Leopard MBTs will we stricken from the inventory, as will all Cougar transport helicopters and, astonishingly, all minesweepers. The Navy alone will lose a quarter of its capability. That in a time when piracy is rampant and Dutch shipping companies are turning to the Navy for support.
This gutting of our armed forces is necessary, according to our government, to realize a budget cut of 1 billion euros.
Let me put this into perspective. From the website of the Central Bureau of Statistics I gleaned the following overview of defence spending from 2003 to 2009:
2003 7.404 bln
2004 7.551 bln
2005 7.693 bln
2006 8.145 bln === Start of Uruzgan mission
2007 8.388 bln
2008 8.488 bln
2009 8.733 bln
Definitive numbers for 2010 and 2011 are not yet available from the CBS website, but the budgets published on the ministry of defences website seems to indicate these numbers are between the spending of 2008 and 2009.
What this shows is that heading the Taskforce Uruzgan if Afghanistan increased the Dutch defence budget by 1.1 billion euros. Since the Dutch withdrew from Uruzgan late last year, one would think the cuts needed would or could restore the status quo ante, when we also has a functioning and capable armed services.
I am not in a position to argue whether the status quo ante is desirable, nor am I arguing that we should. I am just making the observation that even with the budget reduced by a cool billion, we were entirely capable to field a believable army, navy and air force.
So, what changed? What is going on here? Why does a budget cut of 1 billion euro make a gutting of our armed forces imperative? I get the uncomfortable feeling that there is something more at play here.
The cuts made are so deep and wide that hardly a single arm of our forces will, after the cuts are effected, be able to operate independently. In a conflict high in the violence spectrum, the Dutch can operate as recon for those armed services that have tanks, while Dutch infantry in such a conflict will have to depend on tanks from foreign services for back up. The same goes for the navy and the air force.
These cuts, the way they are being made, give the distinct impression that this government is out to ensure that Dutch armed forces will of necessity have to co-operate with the services of other nations to operate safely and effectively.
And why is that a bad thing? Because any national defence capability that is dependent on the active cooperation and involvement of another nation before it can be deployed is, by definition, not sovereign. The Dutch government is actively abdicating one of the key areas, one of the most important core businesses, of any government anywhere: To protect the people and the country it serves from threats, from without or from within.
The most infuriating part of it is that these measures are taken by a government that is supposed to be right-wing. Moreover, PM Mark Ruttes own party, conservative liberal VDD, made it an election promise to halt the slow decay of our armed forces. Indeed, they did. They stopped the decay by quickly, allright, and are actively tearing our army, navy and air force down now. That’s progress, I guess (!).
That ugly head you see rearing goes by the name of van Rompuy, the little troll pretending to be president to all Europeans. Earlier we saw a same gutting of the armed forces in the UK. This has been used as a pretext to boost the “Anglo-French military co-operation” amply documented by Dr. Richard North here, here and here. At the time Dr. North observed: ‘Anyone who thinks that Anglo-French military “co-operation” isn’t a Trojan Horse for the EU Army needs their brains examined’. It isn’t overly paranoid to suspect the same type of mechanism being deployed by the Dutch government to hand over our armed forces to the EUnion. And typically, this angle is completely ignored by what passes for our independent main stream media.
Once again we are betrayed by those we entrusted with looking out for our interests. These new cuts in our military are as clear a sign as any that even this new right-wing government is hell-bent on destroying Dutch sovereignty and delivering us into the hands of that alien power, the EUnion. The feeling of being let down, of once again being betrayed by persons I thought, I was assured, I could trust, is all the more jarring, compared to the hope the installing of a right-wing, Danish-style cabinet engendered in those heady days last fall.
This much is now clear: Even a nominally right-wing government will not defend us. We are on our own. Our government is unwilling, as far as it is still able, to look out for our interest.
And beyond the current defence cuts, we have our MPs similarly abdicating their responsibilities. By and large they are representing not our, but their own interests. Our MSM is actively engaged in feeding us propaganda and preventing us from finding out what is really going on. Even THE symbol of our nation, the royal family, have left the Dutch to fend for themselves, while they actively promote the tranzi cause.
We are alone and have only ourselves to turn to for the defence of our freedom, our sovereignty and our prosperity. And it is time to start being seriously angry about this state of affairs.