Friday, January 20, 2006

Dutch commander criticises US military in Afghanistan

"The actions of the Americans have had little or no effect. The Taliban was dealt with - and that was very necessary - but the country is no more stable as a result," General Dick Berlijn told 'Elsevier' magazine.

Discussing the 'Dutch approach' to overseas missions in conflict zones, Berlijn said: "We know you can't just roar through the streets in tanks with closed turrets."

"Some countries", he said, "react in an unnecessarily harsh manner in conflict zones, thereby generating unnecessary resistance".

Berlijn said Dutch troops rely on their discipline to maintain their own tempo if challenged by violence. The troops are also trained to respect local cultures. There is never a question of 'lift your burka' and searching the wearer. We have never frisked women and children in Iraq."
Yep, the Dutch "softly, softly" approach is just wonderful:

Does anyone remember in Sbrenica that Dutch soldiers did NOTHING as Serbs massacred the muslim population?
Many teams investigating the massacre -- which the Serbs this week admitted they planned and executed -- have questioned the role Dutch troops played in the killings. The troops were there as peacekeeping forces in a United Nations security zone, yet they did nothing to stop Bosnian Serb militias from rounding up and gunning down thousands of men and boys.
No offense, Dutch general dude, but you might want to back off on your comments that the Dutch way of warfare is superior to the American way. I'm sure both styles have their drawbacks, and the British and Dutch occupying the Shia areas of Iraq certainly think their way works better. (Though, suprisingly, they don't offer to take over the Sunni triangle...)

Then again, Kofi Annan is a big fan of US style peacekeepers:
He expressed hope that the United States would participate in a planned U.N. rapid reaction force, authorized by the Security Council earlier this month, that would have the firepower to intimidate armed gangs threatening the country's fragile political transition. Officials said that similar requests are being considered for other countries, including Canada and France. "We want scarier troops," one senior U.N. official said. Annan told Rice that the Haitians "respect the U.S. military"
And, just a tip, the bad guys do wear burkas to hide themselves. And apparently so do the Pakistani commandos who are tasked to capture them. That would make a cool scene in a movie.


Anonymous said...

I was going to read that but its far too long!! Attention Disorder! Frenchie

BigEll said...

Is this Dutch General an active General in the Dutch forces? Is he in fact commanding in Iraq? These are questions I would like answers to but am too lazy to look for.

Red A said...

I think he is the head of Dutch forces.

Red A said...

Big Ell,

Now that it's 2:15 a.m. I have more time to answer in a correct fashion:

This guy is the commander-in-chief of the Dutch Armed Forces.

Seems to me at that level some diplomacy might be in order, but since I'm American I'm probably wrong.

Now, to a very interesting question:

How do Canadian peace-keepers act as opposed to Dutch or Americans?

I wonder if it's a continental thing.

Also, if Annan says USA, Canada, and French soldiers are scary? Well, do the French pull the Dutch technique out?

My guess: The Frogs are like the USA. Mirrored glasses okay. Armed soldiers okay. Tanks rushing about, okay.

I'd be curious to see the doctrines on this...

BigEll said...

I think me have a better record but I don't know for sure. We have sent troops on tons of peace-keeping missions so maybe we have more experience keeping the peace.

We don't have any real offensive weapons or divisions anymore. When we did we were capable of attrocities. Like when we sent paratroopers to Somalia to do some peace keeping who in turn did a whole bunch of torturing in the early 90s. In true Canadian fashion we had an inquiry and got rid of paratroopers all together.

Red A said...

Well, a Canadian sniper was credited with a 2,000 meter confirmed kill in Afghanistan, so there's still some offensive skillz around.

Anonymous said...

Dont be jalous know, because we all know: You aint Much if you aint Dutch!

BTW: we just (March 14) left for the most dangerous province in Afghanistan. So our superior forces are not walking away for their duties.