Dutch public divided on Afghan deployment
17 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — Eight out of 10 Dutch people support peace missions to aid reconstruction in a country such as Afghanistan.
17 January 2006
AMSTERDAM — Eight out of 10 Dutch people support peace missions to aid reconstruction in a country such as Afghanistan.
But only 46 percent of the 1,200 people polled for news programme Netwerk believe sending troops to the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan will help. The Netherlands ready has 600 soldiers in other parts of the country.
Netwerk reported on Monday night 47 percent are against new mission to Afghanistan and 37 percent are in favour. The other 16 percent had no opinion.
The number of people opposed to contributing 1.200 to a 6,000-strong Nato force is roughly equal to the figure in the Maurice de Hond poll last week.
A large number (56 percent) are against a new deployment of Dutch forces if it is mainly to support the US in the "war on terror". A similar number don't believe the mission to Uruzgan will help in that regard. A quarter of those polled think it will.
About half believe it is right to have a long debate on the pros and cons of the Uruzgan deployment. But two thirds feel politicians in The Hague have handled the issue badly and only 4 percent of the respondents think the performance of MPs and ministers on the issue has been good.
The Netwerk poll shows a real divide on the question of potential military casualties: 45 percent of the people are not prepared to accept casualties, while 42 percent are.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news