Nato says Dutch need to invest more in the armed forces
Nato is concerned about the Dutch government’s defence policy, in particular the lack of investment, defence minister Jeanine Hennis told MPs on Thursday.
The criticism is contained in the Nato Defence Planning Capability Review, which looks at how prepared the Dutch armed forces are for combat as well as government spending.
Currently the Netherlands invests 1.14% of its GDP in defence, compared with an average of 1.43% among Nato countries as a whole. ‘Worryingly, the Netherlands’ defence expenditure expressed as a percentage of GDP will continue to decrease and is predicted to fall to 1.08% in 2020, which is well below the Nato guideline of 2%,’ the report says.
Nato wants the Netherlands to beef up its investment in personnel, training and equipment and improve its readiness for action.
‘In light of the new security environment, the Netherlands can expect the Alliance … to ask for a much higher readiness than is currently the case,’ the report states.
‘This implies proper manning, equipment and training (including at brigade level), as well as all the requisite stocks, ammunition and spares for those designated forces/units. This also implies that combat support and combat service support must be sufficient for the task.’
Spending on defence has been reducing for several years but is currently stable. The defence ministry estimates that spending on the armed forces needs to go up by €2bn to meet Nato standards.