Dutch military reaching limits of what it can give Ukraine
The Dutch military is reaching the limit of what it can do to support Ukraine with equipment. The Defense warehouses are getting empty, State Secretary Christophe van der Maat of Defense said in an interview with AD. The Netherlands wants to help, he said. “But our garage is not infinitely full. It’s getting increasingly stressful what we can do.”
Van der Maat called it “a dilemma.” “How far are we willing to go?” The war in Ukraine“directly affects our interest.” But the support is increasingly impacting the Dutch Armed Forces.
Van der maat mentioned the 18 armored howitzers the Netherlands gave Ukraine as an example. “There, you can already see the impact on or own training. That impact on ourselves will continue to grow.”
The Dutch Armed Forces struggled with significant shortages even before the war in Ukraine. “When I started as State Secretary, I was shocked by that,” Van der Maat said. “I don’t think the outside world realizes what we have asked from Defense.” If the Netherlands were to be attacked on its own territory, Defense could only participate for “a few days.”
After years of budget cuts, the government is adding billions of euros to the Defense Budget. But eliminating the equipment and ammunition shortages won’t be easy, Van der Maat said. “Now that global demand is skyrocketing, all those production lines in the defense industry are filling up,” he said.