NATO: the Netherlands on the verge of abandoning its military spending targets

NATO Netherlands Defense News | Military alliances | Armed Forces Budgets and Defense Efforts

As a direct consequence of the Covid-19 crisis which has hit Europe since last March, many European economies are having to face extremely worrying budgetary situations, first and foremost the Netherlands, an economic power terribly dependent on world trade, which is now considering reducing its defense spending. A decision which could have a snowball effect on other NATO countries, which already fear the budgetary consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on all of its members .

It seems unlikely today , given the comments of Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld reported by the national daily De Telegraaf , that the Dutch government will fulfill its budgetary obligations towards the Alliance. Indeed, following the Crimean crisis caused by Russia in March 2014, The Hague committed alongside its transatlantic partners, during the Wales (United Kingdom) summit, to increase its defense spending to the tune of 2% of its GDP by 2024. Although already difficult to achieve - by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's own admission - the Batavian Kingdom's declared defense objectives are about to be swept away by the health crisis hitting the continent, undermining the country's notable efforts made over the last five years.

A330MRTT Netherlands NATO Defense News | Military alliances | Armed Forces Budgets and Defense Efforts
As part of the modernization of its air forces, the Netherlands jointly acquired with Luxembourg two Airbus A330 MRTTs ( Multi Role Tanker Transport ), replacing the aging McDonnell Douglas KDC-10s of Royal Netherlands Air Strength . Acquired via the Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), these two aircraft will be placed under NATO command, although the two acquiring states may enjoy exclusive rights of use. Other A330 MRTTs, operated by Norway, Germany, Belgium, are also expected to be based in the Netherlands under the same NATO command.

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