Due to an accident caused by a mortar exploding within the launch tube, both the Dutch minister of Defence, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and commander of the armed forces, Tom Middendorp have both fallen on their swords.
The incident involved the sloppy purchasing of a mortar grenade in 2006 (expedited for the Afghan war), which led to it being used in an unsafe manner. Rapport here
Both people stepping down were obviously nowhere near this purchase in 2006. It was also not their fault that the Ministry of Defence has been woefully underfunded for years. However political responsibility requires that they step down? I don’t really understand this.
The fact is that in a cabinet with jokers, the minister was doing a good job and the only minister in the NL who understands fully the necessity of broad co-operation – not only with NATO – but within the EU. Tom Middendorp is respected by his coalition partners. The Netherlands is losing two good people for political expediency. It’s a waste.
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