Cabinet defends €2bn mission to rebuild Afghan province

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The Dutch government has published a robust defence of its four-year intervention in Afghanistan.

A report submitted by the cabinet to the Lower House concludes that the four-year mission in the province of Uruzgan improved education standards, healthcare and the economy.

Security in the province “improved gradually” and the administration was “slowly performing its functions better”.

The total cost of the mission, during which 19 Dutch soldiers died in combat, was €1.99 billion.

The Netherlands sent 1,400 troops to maintain order in Uruzgan in February 2006, initially for two years. The last forces eventually left in August 2010.

The cabinet also said lessons should be learned from the mission and warned that “the achievements are not irreversible”.

The Dutch task force deployed the “3D approach” – standing for Development, Diplomacy and Defence – whose aims included training the Afghan police and military to take charge of their own security.

The report recommended that future campaigns should make provision for a “civilian component” in the task force, including interpreters, and warned that shortages of equipment, such as helicopters, or lack of expertise in areas such as roadside bomb detection, could derail the mission.

Source: De Volkskrant: Kabinet: missie Uruzgan had wel degelijk positief effect
Photo by Wikipedia/Michiel1972

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