No Dutch F-16s to the Baltic as ‘reassurance’

Today Oorlog is geen has sent the following letter to the permanent committee of defence of the Second Chamber of Parliament.

Last Friday, 23 May 2014, the Secretary of Defence told the Chamber in the Annotated agenda of the Nato ministerial council in Brussels of 3 and 4 June 2014 that the Dutch government has the intention per 1 September to make four F-16s available to the Baltic Air Policing programme that has been upgraded by a factor three last month, in the framework of the ‘measures to reassure the eastern allies’ agreed by NATO. 

In our previous letter to your Chamber, Willen we echt een oorlog? Dan de NAVO-ramkoers blijven volgen, of 22 April last, we already pointed at the uncompromising policy which the United States is pursuing in the conflict in Ukraine, and which has time and again cut across European attempts to arrive at a settlement. We also outlined in that letter that the stationing of NATO troops in the new, central and east European NATO member states, are in violation of chapter IV of the NATO-Russia Founding Act agreed in 1997, in which Russia accepted the accession to NATO of its previous allies and former Soviet republics. 

In our view there is not the slightest evidence that the Baltic states or Poland would effectively have to deal with an enhanced threat from Russia as a consequence of the developments in and around Ukraine. However, by implementing the so-called ‘measures to reassure the eastern allies’, NATO actually reinforces the suggestion of such an intensified Russian threat, evoked by certain forces in the region. Thus the decision increases the sense of insecurity, not only for the north-eastern NATO allies but also for the Russian neighbours who have reason to view the reinforced presence of NATO on their border as a threat too. 

In other words, there is not a single military reason for deploying Dutch F-16s to the Baltic; it is in reality a purely symbolic act supposedly intended to ‘reassure’ but in fact provoking or intensifying, on both sides of the border between Russia and the NATO area, instability and tension.

To this we add that deployment of Dutch F-16s in the Baltic does not in any way make a contribution to the de-escalation of the conflict in and around Ukraine. Instead of this symbolic action which first of all brings out an adversarial attitude towards Russia, what is necessary is political action to reach agreement with Russia concerning Ukraine and cooperation. No sanctions, but dialogue; no war, but economic cooperation and a deepening of contacts between different societies.

We call on you to make the Dutch government work for those goals and not be distracted by the proposed, but counterproductive, deployment of Dutch F-16s in the Baltic.

With best wishes,
Oorlog is geen Oplossing NL.

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