3 out of 4 Dutch Submarines currently in drydock undergoing maintenance

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> Yeah we got rid of the Leopards, because we hadn’t used them, ever.

This is untrue. The Leopards were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. We got rid of them (after spending €250mln on the upgrade to A6M) for €200mln because the politicians thought MBT’s are unnecessary in this day and age. Canada tried something similar, but soon backtracked on that decision and now operates Leopards 2A6M’s, because you need them in a modern battlefield.

> Yeah we got rid of a shit-ton of F-16’s, because we never used them.

This is untrue either. They were very heavily used during the Cold War in the air policing and intelligence gathering roles. After the CW we used them in air policing, intelligence gathering, precision bombing and close air support roles.

The main problem with downsizing this much, this fast is that your operational capabilities suffer tremendously. As you’ve said the F16’s are currently deployed on multiple theaters, but as you probably also know, *that is the maximum extent of our operational capabilities*.

> we are able to contribute to missions in the intelligence arena with our subs

Just the one sub actually. Three out of four are undergoing MLU at this moment and are thus out of commission for about a year.

> peace-missions

We currently aren’t active in peacekeeping missions outside of the “Police Training mission” in Afghanistan, and that’s done by the Royal Constabulary and Dutch National Police as the army doesn’t have the capability.

> we are active in Mali

With 1,5 contigency of KCT, which is the maximum we can support. Hardly noteworthy when you compare it to the French/German/US deployment in Mali.

> the anti-piracy mission in Somalia is led by a Dutch ship

But it is an EU/NATO mission. Also, as we have a very limited number of ships, this is stretching the capabilities, and preventing us from protecting our interests elsewhere. There’s a reason the Holland-class came to be the guard ships of the Dutch Caribbean.

> we are bombing ISIS

Yes, with 6 F-16’s, and 2 in reserve. Note again that our deployment here can’t be bigger due to the deployment of 4 F16’s to the Baltics. Do you see what I’m getting at?

> our patriots are protecting Turkey

No they’re not. They’re undergoing a modernization programme and are currently out of commission for at least a year.

I hope you get my point here. You don’t *need* 200 F16’s if all you want to do is sit at home, but you *do need them* when you want to actively protect your and your allies strategic/geopolitical interests. We are currently unable to do so without having to compromise on our own national security. That should be unacceptable to the general Dutch public and especially to the Dutch politicians.

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