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Dutch at odds with NATO Afghan strategy - report

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posted on Nov, 17 2006 @ 01:14 PM

AMSTERDAM, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Dutch army leadership disagree with NATO's strategy of heavy combat operations in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban under control, fearing it would fuel more turmoil, a Dutch newspaper reported on Thursday.

British, Dutch and Canadian forces are fighting a revived Taliban insurgency in the south of Afghanistan. The U.S.-led military alliance is facing fierce resistance from Taliban fighters in its biggest and most complex military operation.

Sources told the NRC, a conservative newspaper widely respected in the Netherlands, that the Dutch chief of staff of the armed forces, Dick Berlijn, had taken a tough stance against his NATO partners.

He told NATO allies in September that the mission should not be about eliminating the Taliban but winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people and maintaining support by the parliaments of NATO member countries, the paper said.

"Continued fighting is a signal for both the Afghans and the capitals (of NATO allies) that the mission is not going well," a source told the NRC. "We don't want to give that signal."


Finally we've a commander in charge who understands what must be done to win this war on terror: winning the hearts and minds of the people I disagree that elimination of Taliban militants should not be a priority, but the prime goal should be winning the hearts and minds of the people. You see how effective the other method is in Iraq.


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