Europe

Report warns that Dutch armed forces are seriously neglected

An influential government advisory council is warning that the Dutch armed forces are "seriously neglected" at a time when threats from Russia and elsewhere are increasing.

The report published Friday is aimed at influencing defense policy of the next Dutch coalition government, which will be formed after Parliamentary elections next Wednesday.

Joris Voorhoeve, a member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs, says: "While the security situation has seriously deteriorated in recent years as a result of threats from Russia, the Middle East and North Africa, the operational readiness of the armed forces has been further hollowed out" over the past four years.

The report says that Dutch defense spending is well below the 2 percent of gross domestic product that NATO urges from its members.