Prime Minister Mark Rutte met U.S. president Donald Trump for the first time at a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday. The two had a "fine dialog", according to Rutte. "I'm going to build a fine relationship with him", the Dutch Prime Minister said to RTL Nieuws.
A very expensive mountain climbing expedition for seven Marines in Nepal led to outrage by many other members of the Marines. The trip, called "Expedition Manaslu" cost nearly a million euros, according to figures the Telegraaf received after appealing to the Freedom of Information Act.
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.
Tom Middendorp, Chief of Defense, feels he should have intervened earlier in cuts to the Defense budget, he said in an interview with NRC. He blames himself for the effects now suffered as a result of the massive budget cuts over the past years.
The Dutch Ministry of Defense will get more money in the coming years, no matter who wins the elections in March next year. Almost all parliamentary parties think there were to many cutbacks on the Defense budget in recent years, was revealed during the parliamentary debate on that budget on Wednesday, NOS reports.
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 wants an extra 2 billion euros for the armed forces in the coming years, to bring the Netherlands up to the average spent by other European NATO countries, she said on radio program Kamerbreed on Saturday.
The purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter jets may be more than half a billion euros more expensive than expected. According to the new estimates, the project will cost over 5.2 billion euros, 550 million euros more than the previous estimate. Higher sales tax adds another 75 million euros.
A narrow majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, has thrown its support behind the Netherlands extending its bombing attacks on Islamic States to also include Syria. At this stage the Netherlands is only participating in airstrikes against the terrorist organization in Iraq.
D66 Parliamentarian Wassila Hachchi wants to have a critical look at the balance between the Dutch army's tasks and the Defense budget, as it seems that the army is not capable to perform all its tasks because of a money shortage.
The defense and international security budget should be structurally increased by 1.5 billion euros in the next few years, according to a manifesto by a group of 38 former ministers and other former politicians and managers.
NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Prime-Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander in The Hague, Thursday. Rasmussen urges the Netherlands to increase its defense budget again.
According to a report by NOS, the Ministry of Defense has a severe shortage of young soldiers. The current organization resembles, according to Minister Hennis-Plasschaert (Defense), an inverted pyramid too much, that is, there are many older but few young people.
In an interview with NOS Radio 1 News, the Minister said that she is aiming for a small top and a wide bottom. Therefore, Defense is trying to recruit mainly young people. The inflow is not yet how it should be, but according to the Minister, there is a slight increase.