chapter  11
22 Pages

Enduring Interests: The Netherlands and the Stationing Issue

WithJan Geert Siccama

Deployments of armed forces abroad always aim at effects on the military as well as on the political level. In the case of the Netherlands, the main military objective of stationing units of the Army and the Air Force in Germany obviously was strengthening North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forward defenses against a possible Soviet offensive. Since the political meaning of military deployments by the Netherlands is so important, the political setting of the activities will be emphasized. In 1962, the foreign affairs minister, Joseph Luns, successfully resisted the Gaullist Fouchet proposal for a non-supranational political union. The area of operations within NATO for the unit is therefore debatable, while political consent to operate out of area is most likely to be refused. Anticipating NATO's decision to establish a Rapid Reaction Corps, the Netherlands defense planning over the period 1991 to 1998 provides for the formation of an airmobile brigade.