Letter on NATO Summit to the Dutch Parliament

This article is a translation of "Brief over NAVO-Top aan Tweede Kamer"

Today, "Oorlog is geen Oplossing NL" sent the letter below to the standing committee for foreign affairs of the Dutch Parliament.


With growing amazement we have taken notice of the letter of the ministers of foreign affairs and defence concerning the impending NATO summit in Newport, Wales, 4 and 5 September next. Apparently it is not just a matter for the Dutch navy to engage in ‘exercises at higher levels of violence’ (p. 5 of the letter); it seems that more generally, we are moving towards a ‘higher level of violence’ across the board. This is a manifesto for a new Cold War that carries enormous risks.
We will be brief about Afghanistan: this war has ended in a costly fiasco. Yet the fact that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has been waging war in Central Asia for more than 13 years now, is a reminder that the Netherlands along with other EU countries has been drawn along in a primarily American project for global expansion.

Indeed the Newport summit would probably have had a quite different thrust had the EU and NATO not pursued this project in Ukraine already. They did this by supporting, in a variety of ways, the anti-Russian forces in this multi-ethnic country, which in so many respects is closely tied to Russia—including support against the legitimate government with which the EU still in February had concluded an agreement to settle the unrest in the country. 

From 1994-97 NATO has begun an advance in eastern direction which has brought us, as a party to the treaty, to the Russian border. For O҂O this is a matter which emphatically has to be named for what it is. WE advanced, not Russia. That country is only attempting, by all means at its disposal, to prevent that its military position deteriorates further now that it is obvious that NATO is not striving for a durable peace, but for an enlargement of its sphere of influence (and along with it, of the influence of the United States in Europe).

All steps identified in the letter, from the deployment of Dutch planes which will operate from a basis in Poland, to the NATO-Ukraine Commission which aims at gearing up the military capacity of Ukraine and make it compatible with NATO standards, underscore that it is NATO which is on the offensive. The same holds for the rapprochement with Georgia. Is the Dutch government really not capable of accepting that Russia will not tolerate that the alliance digs in in the former Soviet republics? Or that the planned exercises on the Russian border will be perceived as intimidating?

How the ‘enhanced cyber defence’ programme is related to the surveillance practices of the NSA, which included eavesdropping on the personal phone of the German Chancellor, or how higher defence expenditure will pan out economically—at the expense of domestic civil demand, already seriously restricted, and in favour of arms exports of other countries—all these questions are avoided. The sanctions against Russia, imposed on spurious grounds and disastrous for our exports, are not even mentioned in the letter!

At no point in the letter we read of proposals aimed at stabilisation and compromise.

Finally it is shameful to establish that the Netherlands, as the country with the highest number of victims, has accepted without protest that any results of the investigation into the disaster with flight MH17, have still to emerge, although the flight recorders were recovered in good order and American satellites have registered everything that happened in the area.

The ministers’ letter is a painful admission that we no longer are able to come to our own conclusions and formulate our own policy, and as such it represents a low point in Dutch foreign and defence policy.

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