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Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 military fighter jets and German Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets participate in NATO’s Baltic air policing mission, Lithuania, April 25, 2017 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

For the Netherlands, NATO Participation Is as Important as Defense Spending

Monday, June 26, 2017

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance.

This year, troops from the Netherlands arrived in Lithuania to participate in a German-led battalion that is part of a broader NATO effort to bolster defenses near Russia; similar battalions are deploying in Poland, Latvia and Estonia. The deployment coincides with rising support within the Netherlands to increase defense spending, which was scaled back during the first half of this decade. Both developments reflect the realization, in the Netherlands and across Europe, that European militaries need to ramp up efforts to defend against the threat posed by Russia, especially in light of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. In an email interview, Dick Zandee, senior research fellow at the Clingendael Institute, describes the traditional role of the Netherlands within NATO as well as efforts to boost the country’s defense preparedness. ...

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