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Zaterdag, 15 Januari 2011 | Bewerkt door Crethi Plethi

WikiLeaks: Amerikanen Blij met Eerste Verlenging Missie in Uruzgan

Document: Ambtsbericht van de Amerikaanse ambassade in Den Haag over de eerste verlenging van de missie in Uruzgan.


Bron: WikiLeaks/NOS


135376,12/21/2007 12:25,07THEHAGUE2082,”Embassy The
Hague”,CONFIDENTIAL,,”VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTC #2082/01 3551225
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211225Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0844
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2743
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0344
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0132
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 002082

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE, EUR/RPM, SCA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2017
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, NATO, AF, NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/AFGHANISTAN: IT’S OFFICIAL! TWO MORE
YEARS IN URUZGAN

Classified By: CDA Andrew Schofer, reasons 1.4 (b,d)

1. (C) Summary: The GONL obtained broad support on December
20 from the Dutch parliament in favor of extending its ISAF
mission in Uruzgan province until December 2010. This
officially brings to a close months of internal Dutch
deliberations on the controversial extension issue, and
ensures that the Dutch troops will remain committed to
Uruzgan for the next three years despite serious political
misgivings and a lack of popular support at home. End
summary.

2. (C) The Dutch parliament on December 20 officially gave
its consent to an additional two-year plus extension of its
ISAF mission in Uruzgan from August 2008 until December 2010,
voting down by a count of 98 to 42 (with 10 absences) a
motion by the Socialist Party to withdraw troops at the end
of the current mandate. While parliament does not
constitutionally have the authority to approve any Dutch
deployment overseas — and votes represented in parliament by
the coalition parties technically gave the GONL a majority —
the GONL nevertheless stressed the political importance of
garnering broad support for the mission. (Note: According
to Dutch Parliamentary tradition, members planning to be
absent from an important vote “”twin”” with a member from the
opposing side. Had all members been present, therefore, the
vote would have been 103 in favor to 47 against — slightly
more than a two-thirds majority. End note.)

3. (C) The GONL obtained this broad support when the
opposition Liberal Party (VVD) and Political Calvinist Party
(SGP) joined coalition parties the Christian Democratic
Alliance (CDA), the Labor Party (PvdA), and Christian Unie
(CU). As the largest and most influential opposition party
on the right, VVD’s support was crucial. Throughout the
debate, VVD Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hans van Baalen
consistently asked the GONL to justify the new mission in
terms of improved structure, financing, new contributions
from other partners, sufficient transport and Allied support
to extract Dutch troops in case of an emergency, and clarity
of the Afghan government’s promise to deploy security forces
to Uruzgan.

4. (C) Despite GONL efforts to satisfy van Baalen’s concerns,
VVD’s support for the new mission was not assured until the
parliamentary debate over the extension on December 17.
Former Defense Minister and still influential VVD
parliamentarian Henk Kamp insisted on upholding the original
agreement between NATO and the Netherlands consisting of a
two-year deployment to August 2008 — as indicated by a
December 2005 letter from former SACEUR Gen. Jones to Dutch
CHOD Gen. Berlijn. Key demands for VVD’s continued support
included a clear exit by Dutch troops from Uruzgan by
December 2010 and recognition by NATO that it is responsible
for finding a successor to the Dutch, as well as the
understanding that the GONL will not participate in any other
major peacekeeping operation until 2010. Ultimately, van
Baalen was satisfied by the GONL’s case to remain in Uruzgan
— including especially the promise that new or unforeseen
costs associated with the extension would not affect the
defense budget — and pledged his party’s unanimous support.

Strong Government Case
———————-

5. (C) During three rounds of parliamentary debate on
December 17-18, the GONL confidently pitched the case in
favor of extending, answering 577 questions submitted by
parliament on the matter. FM Verhagen said he had received a
letter from NATO SYG de Hoop Scheffer acknowledging that
Dutch troops will leave Uruzgan by December 2010. Verhagen
reiterated that he informed his counterparts at the NATO
foreign ministerial on December 10 the Dutch would withdraw
by December 2010. He also made clear that the Netherlands
would not participate in any other major operation that might
affect the Dutch deployment in Afghanistan. Verhagen
stressed the importance of the international community
reviewing its collective long-term efforts in Afghanistan,
including specifically a “”master strategy”” — he said this
will be discussed at the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest.

6. (C) Defense Minister van Middelkoop argued that the
extended mission will not harm Dutch military readiness, and
made several reassurances regarding the Australian
partnership and the quality of various contributions from
France, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. He had
hoped for additional partners, but did not foresee any
problems working with these contributions, and suggested that
the Czech Republic might be willing to extend its
parliamentary mandated six-month deployment to a year. Van
Middelkoop was confident that the GONL could finance the new
mission, including 370 million Euros of additional funding
per year. Development Minister Koenders made the case in
favor of meaningful reconstruction despite the challenging
security situation. He noted that the Uruzgan PRT would be
placed under civilian leadership by August 1, 2009.

Opposing View
————-

7. (C) The Socialists and Green Left led the charge opposing
the extension, arguing that parliament was deliberately
misled to support a “”combat”” mission in the guise of
reconstruction. Green Left floorleader Halsema argued that
the ISAF mission — in conjunction with OEF — has enabled a
corrupt Karzai government, and has been responsible for
unnecessary civilian casualties. Geert Wilders and his Party
for Freedom (PVV) also opposed the mission, but for different
reasons. Wilders said he supported the ISAF mission, but
felt that the Netherlands had “”done its fair share”” — time
for another Ally to step up and serve in the south. The GONL
had hoped to persuade D-66 to join proponents of the
extension, but D-66 floorleader Pechtold cited the absence of
a clear strategy among NATO, the UN, and the EU as the main
reason why he opposes a new mission.

8. (C) In all, the Socialist Party (SP), Green Left, PVV, D66
and the Party for the Animals opposed the mission.
Opposition actually grew in comparison to the initial
mission, due primarily to election gains by the Socialists
and Green Left in the last election, and votes lost by VVD to
Wilders’ PVV off-shoot. Opposition parties sponsored four
total motions on the extension: withdrawing Dutch troops by
August 2008 (SP), conveying disappointment to NATO over
perceived lack of support (SP), publicly releasing the
December 2005 letter from former SACEUR Gen. Jones to Gen.
Berlijn (D-66), and calling for better compensation for
victims of civilian casualties (Green Left) — all four
motions were voted down. Rita Verdonk, who until recently
had been a member of VVD, also voted against the extension.

Something All Could Agree On
—————————-

9. (C) Parties all across the political spectrum expressed
deep dissatisfaction with NATO and the lack of solidarity in
supporting the Dutch extension in Uruzgan. Proponents of the
extension were quick to thank the French, Czechs, Slovaks,
Hungarians and Georgians, but questioned why other Allies had
not agreed to do more. PvdA spokesperson Martijn van Daam
noted disappointment with NATO partners; VVD spokesperson van
Baalen called on greater Allies powers — such as Germany —
to do more. Critics made the perceived lack of NATO
solidarity a centerpiece in their opposition to the
extension. Wilders based his decision solely on this point;
D-66 spokesperson Pechtold described the lack of solidarity
as damaging for NATO, and creates a false sense of security
for the people of Uruzgan. The Socialists accused NATO of
“”not keeping its part of the bargain,”” as evidenced by the
Jones-Berlijn letter.

Public Opinion
————–

10. (SBU) Despite the broad support in parliament, Dutch
public support for the extension remains low. According to
the latest opinion polls, 43 percent oppose any extension,
approximately 25 percent are in favor, with the remaining
almost 33 percent feeling indifferent.

11. (C) Dutch media coverage has been mixed, largely ignoring
the extension story once it became clear the GONL would
obtain a strong parliamentary majority. Most major dailies
focused on the latest developments in the Dutch Hell’s Angels
trial or Dutch soccer team AZ’s loss in UEFA Cup play. Dutch
daily Trouw (center-left) welcomed the extension, accused
Wilders’ of political opportunism, and deplored D-66’s
opposition in light of its long international tradition. The
Trouw editorial suggested that stabilizing Afghanistan is a
long-term effort, and therefore questioned GONL’s decision to
“”call it a day”” in 2010. It criticized the GONL for
“”operating clumsily,”” while NATO Allies demonstrated “”little
solidarity”” with the Netherlands.

12. (SBU) Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad (center-left)
called for tempered expectations in the next two years,
especially as “”not much”” has come from reconstruction efforts
thus far. This editorial highlighted the importance of
adopting an Afghanistan “”master plan”” at the NATO summit in
Bucharest. Dutch daily Telegraaf (center-right; largest
circulation in Netherlands) supports the extension, and
published holiday wishes from most members of Cabinet on its
front page, emphasizing support and respect for Dutch
soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

13. (SBU) FM Verhagen acknowledged that the wide support in
parliament for the extension is not reflected in the Dutch
population — “”at times, (parliament’s) views will not
reflect the opinion of a majority of the population.”” He
said he will focus on generating broader Dutch public support
for the extension.

Comment: Two Years is Two Years?
——————————–

14. (C) For all the drama (public flubs by van Middelkoop and
Berlijn) and delays (GONL assurances that the decision would
be complete by what seemed like an endless summer) associated
with this extension question, the GONL once again did a
masterful job of forcing a difficult decision with low public
support through the Dutch parliament on a tight schedule. A
key point in gaining the support of many parliamentarians was
the promise that Dutch troops will leave Uruzgan by December
2010. However, the GONL decision mentions nothing of
possible Dutch missions in other Afghan provinces, or a
continued Dutch civilian presence in Uruzgan. According to
MFA Task Force Uruzgan Coordinator Pieter-Jan Kleiweg on
December 21, “”the door purposefully remains open”” — and a
lot can happen in two years time.

Schofer


2 Comments to “WikiLeaks: Amerikanen Blij met Eerste Verlenging Missie in Uruzgan”

  1. #WikiLeaks: #Amerikanen Blij met eerste Verlenging #Missie in #Uruzgan | #US http://j.mp/gahgJf

  2. avatar Elisabeth says:

    RT @CrethiPlethi: #WikiLeaks: #Amerikanen Blij met eerste Verlenging #Missie in #Uruzgan | #US http://j.mp/gahgJf


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