View Full Version : The Netherlands: Dutch Cabinet admits Iraq war mistakes

03-04-2010, 05:13 AM
The Netherlands: Dutch Cabinet admits Iraq war mistakes

Dutch News:

The cabinet has admitted MPs could have been better informed about security service 'doubts and conjectures' about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

And, in their formal response to last month's highly critical Davids commission report, ministers say they should have been more open about the US request for assistance prior to the war.

The Netherlands supported the invasion politically on the grounds that Saddam Hussein was breaking UN resolutions but did not send troops.

Tuesday's statement follows weeks of debate about how the cabinet should respond to the Davids Commission report. There was almost a cabinet crisis when it was published in mid-January because prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende appeared to dismiss most of its findings.

He was prime minister at the time of the invasion in 2003. Labour, currently a member of the coalition government, was in opposition and strongly against the war.


The Davids report stated United Nations resolutions on Saddam Hussein's weapons programme were not a sufficient mandate to justify the invasion of Iraq by the US and Britain.

And it said Dutch intelligence agencies had largely based their reports on information from the US and British secret services and that other, more nuanced assessments of the risks posed by Iraq's weapons programme were 'not reflected' by the relevant ministers and departments.

In their response, ministers said seven years of deep division over the Dutch role in Iraq had not yet been fully bridged. Nevertheless, lessons had been learned, they said.

In the future, they would ensure that there is an adequate mandate not only for Dutch military support for such missions but also for political support. Foreign security service information will be filtered through the Dutch security services before being passed on to ministers and MPs will be given greater access to confidential information.

03-04-2010, 07:26 AM
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03-04-2010, 09:21 AM
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