A Dutch Panzerhaubitze 2000 fires a round in Afghanistan. February 28, 2009. (Ministry of Defense) A Dutch Panzerhaubitze 2000 fires a round in Afghanistan. February 28, 2009. (Ministry of Defense)
NATO harshly criticizes weak Netherlands defense spending
The NATO Defense Planning Capability Review is very critical on the Dutch Defense policy, both in how much money the country invests in its defense capabilities and the deploy-ability of the Dutch army. Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert sent the report to the Tweede Kamer on Thursday, the first time it's been shared with parliament, broadcaster NOS reports. The Netherlands is no longer cutting on the Defense budget, but NATO is still concerned that too little money is being put into it. At present the Netherlands spends 1.14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product on Defense. Other European NATO countries spends an average of 1.43 percent. NATO wants the Netherlands to invest more in additional personnel, equipment, training, supplies and support services. According to Hennis, NATO is concerned that the Netherlands' week defense sending will lead to "other allies providing a disproportionate share of the necessary capacity". She told broadcaster NOS that this is not new criticism. Earlier this week Hennis called for an extra 2 billion euros for the Defense budget to get the Dutch spending up to NATO standards.