Tonight, US President Joe Biden will deliver a speech: he wants all US servicemen to leave the country by September 11, 2021. Other NATO countries, such as Germany, are following the US lead. The Netherlands cannot function without American and German support.
NATO’s force in Afghanistan must jointly withdraw, Germany believes. “We have always said: go out together, at home together,” German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told ARD. “I am in favor of an orderly departure and I guess we NATO will accept it today.”
According to Kramp-Karrenbauer, it is likely that the departure will take place in September.
Dutch defense ministers have also repeatedly stressed that the principle applies: “together, at home together”. The Dutch army is very dependent on American and German soldiers.
For example, the United States provides air support, drones, and support. The NATO mission in northern Afghanistan is led by a German soldier.
The then US President Donald Trump had already announced the withdrawal of the US military as of May 1. New President Joe Biden has now postponed the date to September 11.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in consultation today at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Blinken says Washington is working on a “coordinated” departure in consultation with NATO partners. “We have achieved our objectives and the time has come to bring our troops home.”
The September retreat aims to end the longest war waged by the United States and its allies, initially in retaliation for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
80 additional Dutch
Around 160 Dutch soldiers are currently participating in NATO’s Resolute Support mission, whose main task is to train and advise the Afghan army. This number will be increased this month by 80 Dutch, for security reasons. These are so-called army infantrymen who were on standby as a precaution.
As a result of the withdrawal, the security situation in the country is deteriorating. Foreign troops can also be targeted more often. The military must be deployable by April 30, the Defense Ministry said earlier.