A broadly shared wish of Dutch parliamentarians to recover dozens of World War II aircraft wrecks with missing crew members, is one step closer. The government is launching an "national program" to recover these wrecks, Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
The Netherlands is the midst of a "cyber war" with Russia, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said on television program WNL op Zondag. According to the Minister, a foiled cyber attack by the Russian secret service on chemical weapons watchdog OPCW shows that the nature of war has changed.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said on Monday that the four Russian spies caught in The Hague in April was in the Netherlands for a routine trip. Russia denies that the secret service agents wanted to hack into chemical weapon watchdog OPCW, NU.nl reports.
Four Russian spies wanted to hack into the network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) on April 13th. Instead of being arrested and entering the Dutch system, they were deported to Moscow that same day. That decision was made by Onno Eichelsheim, director of military intelligence service MIVD. He wanted them out of the Netherlands as soon as possible, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch military intelligence service MIVD prevented a hacking operation by Russian secret service G.U. aimed at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC), Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense announced at a press conference in The Hague on Thursday. The G.U. tried to hack the OPWC on April 13th. Four involved Russian officers were deported from the Netherlands that same day, NOS reports.
The Public Prosecutor is dropping an investigation into decorated soldier Marco Kroon, who said that he killed a man who abducted him while on a mission in Afghanistan. The investigation has yet to provide a definitive answer, but there are insufficient leads to confirm whether or not what Kroon reported actually happened, the Public Prosecutor said on Thursday, NOS reports.
On Thursday King Willem-Alexander took a ride on a hybrid quad bike at military test site Fieldlab Smarbase in Soesterberg. The motorized four-wheeler runs on fuel and electricity, AD reports.
The King visited the test site with Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense. The King and Minister watched demonstrations of innovative products and designs, including the hybrid quad and several robots.
The prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster is the first subject Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Friday. The Dutch Minister will also ask Russia to contribute to stopping the conflict in Syria, first of all by making a cease fire possible so that humanitarian aid can get to the people in the war-torn country, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is examining possibilities for adjusting the Netherlands' contribution to the military mission in Afghanistan. Exactly what changes will be made is not yet clear, the Telegraaf reports.
The Netherlands has around 100 soldiers in Afghanistan for advisory work that forms part of the mission Resolute Support. On Wednesday Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld spoke with her American counterpart James Mattis in Washington. Mattis again asked Bijleveld to deploy more soldiers to the Afghanistan mission.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense understands why the United States is threatening military action in Syria following what is believed to be a poison gas attack in Douma. "If diplomatic, economical and political measures are insufficient, the Netherlands understands a proportional military action in Syria", she said to Nieuwsuur.
Dutch soldiers are again allowed to wear their uniforms in public. Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense lifted the ban that was implemented in 2014 due to an increased threat of attacks on soldiers by jihadists, according to a Defense memorandum that will be published on Monday, ANP reports.
"The army has the task of protecting our kingdom and its allies. So it is also important that you are recognizable and approachable", the Minister said. According to her, the ban is being lifted at the express wish of Dutch soldiers.
The Dutch intelligence services placed 3,553 taps to eavesdrop on people and organizations last year, Ministers Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense reported to parliament on Wednesday. This is the first time that the services' tap statistics are made public, NU.nl reports.
D66 parliamentarian Salima Belhaj thinks that the Dutch military must be made more sustainable, for example by using hybrid trucks instead of diesel or letting soldiers on mission grow part of their food there. She is submitting a set of proposals on how to achieve this to Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense on Tuesday, she said in an interview with newspaper Trouw.
The two Dutch Ministers in charge of intelligence services AIVD and MIVD refused to respond to reports that the two services passed crucial information about Russian hackers influencing the United States presidential elections to the FBI. Other than saying that the government is proud of the Dutch security services, NOS reports.
The Ministry of Defense's policy is insufficiently focused on safety on all fronts, and there is therefore no guarantee that military tasks can be executed safely, the Van der Veer Committee concluded in its investigation into an accidental grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers during training in Mali. "Improving safety is not rocket science", the committee said adding that this needs urgent attention, NOS reports.
The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into Dutch soldier Marco Kroon using violence during a secret operation in Afghanistan in 2007, Kroon's lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops announced on Wednesday. Kroon was awarded the Militaire Willems-Orde, the highest military award in the Netherlands, in 2009 for his efforts in Afghanistan, newspaper AD reports.
Kroon says he reported the incident to Defense last year. Defense gave it through to the Public Prosecutor last week, which now launched an investigation.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense thinks that two Russian bombers intercepted by Belgian F-16s just before entering Dutch airspace on Monday, were meant to scare, provoke or test Russia's West-European rivals, she said to the Telegraaf.
The Netherlands' Airmobile Brigade canceled a controversial hazing ritual last week after questions from Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld and State Secretary Barbara Visser, the Telegraaf reports
While visiting the Brigade on Wednesday last week, Visser asked about the so-called 'tiger test' that was planned for that night. The tiger test is a hazing ritual for the Charlie- or Tiger company that involves the consumption of alcohol to turn 'cubs' into 'tigers', according to the newspaper.
The names of the Rutte III cabinet's Ministers and State Secretaries were announced on Saturday. In addition to Prime Minster Mark Rutte, there wil be 15 Ministers and eight State Secretaries. Just over a third of the new government are women. The expectation is that the Rutte III cabinet will take office on October 26th, RTL Nieuws reports.
As the time for the Rutte III government to take office approaches, the names of more and more Ministers are leaking out. Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) will have three Deputy Prime Ministers, one from each of the other coalition partners. They will be Kasja Ollongren (D66), Carola Schouten (ChristenUnie) and Hugo de Jonge (CDA), newspaper AD reports.