Uruzgan mission far over budget

25th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 October 2007, AMSTERDAM – The Dutch presence in Uruzgan is quite a bit more expensive than expected. The reconstruction and military deployment in the Afghan province will cost at least EUR 1.2 billion, twice the figure of EUR 580 million originally quoted by the defence department. The Volkskrant has reported this on the basis of its own calculations.

25 October 2007

AMSTERDAM – The Dutch presence in Uruzgan is quite a bit more expensive than expected. The reconstruction and military deployment in the Afghan province will cost at least EUR 1.2 billion, twice the figure of EUR 580 million originally quoted by the defence department. The Volkskrant has reported this on the basis of its own calculations.

More money has reportedly already been spent on the Uruzgan mission so far than the amount that the defence department initially budgeted for the project as a whole. The mission does not expire until August 2008. Reliable sources in the government report that EUR 600 million has already been spent, according to the newspaper.

The costs are rising higher than expected primarily because of the loss and damage to equipment. The contributions to development and reconstruction are also taking a heavy toll on the budget.

EUR 100 million extra is needed already to replace equipment that is no longer serviceable because of wear and tear. Another EUR 191 million is needed to replace helicopters and other aircraft that have crashed. The defence department has been given EUR 155 million extra for these expenses, in addition to its normal budget. EUR 140 million extra in development aid has been earmarked, most of which will go to the Afghan army and police.

Another 11 million will go to the Provincial Reconstruction Team. Further support for the EU mission for training police, the ISAF headquarters and the loaning of aviation equipment to ISAF are also putting pressure on the budget.

Possible extension of the mission could cost another EUR 436 million, the paper says, apart from the EUR 160 million that the development work will require if the mission is renewed.

The defence department has now admitted that the costs will exceed the EUR 580 million originally budgeted. The extra platoons promised to NATO at the end of November have not even been included in the costs yet.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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