Dutch armed forces seriously neglected: Advice Council

The state of the Dutch armed forces is extremely worrying, according to advisory council on international affairs AIV in an advice report to the cabinet titled 'Russia and the Dutch defense efforts'. According to the report, the "employability of the armed forces was further undermined this government term" and if the policy is not changed, the basic readiness of the army will only be back in order in 2021, NU.nl reports.

According to the AIV, the government continually paints an overly optimistic picture on the state of the armed forces. "These positive framings may serve a political purpose, but creates a false picture", the report states.

The AIV calls on the next government to ensure that the Defense budget is increased to at least the NATO average. Over 8 years 2 percent of the gross domestic product must be spent on defense - the standard mutually agreed upon by NATO countries. 

The report also states that Russia seems to be trying to cause divisions in Europe through cyber attacks, supporting populist movements and spreading false information. In 2008 Russia also invested heavily in the military and modernized it significantly. According to the council, "the international security situation therefore changed fundamentally."

NATO also strongly criticized the employability of the Dutch armed forces. According to NATO, strengthening defense should be a top priority for the Netherlands.