‘Providing Ukraine with armored howitzers could harm our armed forces’
Should the Netherlands continue with this handover, it could have consequences for the deployment of the Dutch armed forces, he says after reporting this in De Telegraaf.
protect their lands
The Netherlands has been supplying Ukraine with arms for some time, but now it is being considered for the first time to supply arms that are used by the Netherlands itself.
Van Woensel calls this special option. “The armed forces are now unable to properly perform the tasks assigned to them, for example the first major task: protecting their own territory and that of the allies. We know that we have had a shortage for years, and we must ensure that this is quickly corrected.”
The ability to make a difference
Additional howitzers can be deployed to reinforce the ground forces. If some of the weapons are sent to Ukraine, it could cause problems in the long run, according to Van Winsel. “We do not need all 29 howitzers in stock at the moment, but it is important for our deployability to have them in stock.”
Van Woensel asserts that he understands the minister’s considerations. “These are high-quality pieces that can make a difference on the battlefield in Ukraine, so I understand the trade-off in sending them.”
At the same time, according to him, it must be borne in mind that the use of howitzers is not easy. It requires long training and a lot of logistical support. As a result, he says, there is no guarantee that the weapons will be used correctly. Some can also be shot.
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