Dutch Gov't Collapses over Afghan Mission
2010 02 21
By Arthur Max | YahooNews.com
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Sunday Dutch troops will begin leaving southern Afghanistan in August, since his caretaker government has no authority to accept a NATO request to stay on.
Speaking a day after his coalition government collapsed over the issue, Balkenende said the Netherlands will end its role in Uruzgan province, where 21 Dutch soldiers have been killed since the mission was first deployed in 2006.
"Our task as the lead nation ends in August this year," he said on Dutch television.
Netherlands' Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, front left, talks to the media to announce that the second largest party in his three-party alliance is quitting, in The Hague, Netherlands, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. The Dutch coalition government collapsed Saturday over irreconcilable differences on whether to extend the Netherlands' military mission in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/ Evert-Jan Daniels)
A marathon cabinet meeting that broke up before dawn Saturday ended with the walkout of the second largest party in the government, Labor, which accused the dominant Christian Democratic Alliance of reneging on a 2007 agreement to bring the troops home this year.
On Monday, the premier formally will advise Queen Beatrix that he no longer commands a majority in parliament and will hand in the resignations of the six Labor Party ministers. That will begin the process likely to lead to an election in May, one year ahead of schedule.
The impending drawdown was clearly bitter for Balkenende, who argued forcefully to remain in Uruzgan on a scaled-down training mission for Afghan security forces. He repeated Sunday that it would be valueless to conduct such training missions outside Uruzgan.
Under the Dutch system, a caretaker cabinet cannot take actions that lack consensus, and therefore Balkenende said he was bound by an earlier decision to relinquish the command position in Uruzgan as of Aug. 1.
The pullout will take up to three months, and the last of its soldiers will be gone from the volatile province by December.
Earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sent a letter to the Dutch government asking it to consider an extension of its mission to prepare the Afghan army and police to take responsibility for the province.
Balkenende charged that Labor went back on its agreement to at least examine several options for staying in Afghanistan.
The parliament was expected to hold another debate on Afghanistan shortly, taking up the question of whether the Air Force could deploy F-16s, helicopters and headquarters staff and whether development workers and even diplomats could be stationed outside Kabul, the capital.
But the current mood in parliament is hardly amenable to a continued presence there.
In the debate last Thursday, a clear majority of the 150-member house was in favor of pulling out, with the split laid bare between Balkenende and his finance minister, Labor Party leader Wouter Bos.
Article from: News.Yahoo.com
Icelandic president angers Britain, Dutch over bank bill
Many Dutch prepare for 2012 apocalypse
Watching Olympics? Meanwhile NATO launches major Afghanistan offensive
Dutch government collapses as partners fall out over Afghanistan
Latest News from our Front Page
US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik.
December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Ziolebrities: Simon Cowell donates £100,000 to Israeli soldiers to please pregnant jewish girlfriend Lauren Silverman
Cowell, 54, is also planning a secret trip to Israel soon as he embraces the Jewish faith of Silverman, 36
Gala: Billionaire Haim Saban with Cowell
Simon Cowell has publicly donated nearly £100,000 in support of the Israeli army.
The X Factor boss pledged the cash to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces at a US fund-raiser in Beverly Hills.
The lavish gala ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times
Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
The Bankster International
Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...
|More News » |