Most Dutch want Afghanistan mission to end after 2008

More than half of Dutch nationals want their country'smilitary mission to Afghanistan to end after August 1, 2008. A similar amount wants the mission to end immediately.

Most Dutch want Afghanistan mission to end after 2008
More than half of Dutch nationals want their country'smilitary mission to Afghanistan to end after August 1, 2008. A similar amount wants the mission to end immediately.

The findings, published on Friday in daily Algemeen Dagblad, result from a survey performed by the polling agency De Vos & Jansen.

Among the 1,000 people polled, only 45 per cent support the mission. Most people question its usefulness. A minority of 45.6 per cent support extending the mission beyond August 1, 2008.

For two-thirds of the people polled, the death of Dutch soldiers is not the main reason to withdraw support for the military mission.

Instead, the survey appears to indicate the Dutch are not happy with the fact their military are spending most of their time on war activities and less on rebuilding civil society in Oruzgan.

Before the military mission started in August 2006, the government presented the mission to the Dutch electorate as a way to help the Afghan people rebuild their country.

Politicians promised that military activity would remain minimal. The main focus, they said, would be on restoring infrastructure and creating the circumstances for the Afghans to rebuild civil society.

The survey published on Friday was performed before the 10th Dutch soldier died on Sunday.

Some 1,665 Dutch troops are stationed in the province of Oruzgan as part of a larger NATO mission to Afghanistan. The mission, which began last year, was originally due to continue for two years.

The Dutch government wants other NATO members to take over the command in Oruzgan after August 2008. The Netherlands recently repeated its formal request to Norway to take over the mission next year.

However, neither Norway nor other countries have expressed an interest to replace the Dutch.

The Dutch government is expected to decide about a possible extension of the mission no later than September.

DPA
Last Mod: 31 Ağustos 2007, 12:23
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