Dutch cabinet collapses in dispute over Afghanistan

The Dutch government has just unraveled over Dutch troop deployments in Afghanistan. Are more NATO governments far behind? This story is from BBC News

Dutch cabinet collapses in dispute over Afghanistan
The Dutch government has collapsed over disagreements within the governing coalition on extending troop deployments in Afghanistan.

After marathon talks, Christian Democratic Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced that the Labour Party was quitting the government.

Mr Balkenende has been considering a Nato request for Dutch forces to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2010.

But Labour, the second-largest coalition party, has opposed the move.

Just under 2,000 Dutch service personnel have been serving in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan since 2006, with 21 killed.

Their deployment has already been extended once.

The troops should have returned home in 2008, but they stayed on because no other Nato nation offered replacements.

The commitment is now due to end in August 2010.

The Dutch parliament voted in October 2009 that it must definitely stop by then, although the government has yet to endorse that vote.

It appears the Dutch Labor Party has had enough of sacrificing their soldiers in the Afghan hellhole. The coalition cobbled together by George Bush has been fraying for awhile, but things may be coming to a head with all the pressure USA is putting on its NATO allies to supply more troops. USA may be foolhardy enough to continue this illegal, immoral, and unwinnable war indefinitely, as there are plenty of precedents, but the European nations may not be willing to follow the US lead much longer. There has been much grumbling among those nations that the Afghan occupation is going nowhere, that the war cannot be won by military means, and that USA refuses to heed the lessons of history. It would be nice if the Democratic opponents of this war would stop going along with the recklessness of the President and his warmongering foreign policy team, but that is too much to expect. The liberal wing of the Democratic Party has been outmaneuvered by the President, and they have shown little resolve to oppose his blunders. It goes to show how little democracy means in USA, since a growing majority of people is increasingly skeptical of the war on Afghanistan. Obama has dug in his heels, staking his future on finishing the job there, as he puts it. He deserves to be a one-term President, and hopefully the person who replaces him will not be another warmongering greenwasher. Unfortunately, most Democratic and Republican political leaders fall squarely into both categories.

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