February 22, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - With Dutch PM Balkenende's government having fallen again, this time over the country's failure of will to maintain a skeleton commitment [approximately 2,000 - 1,600 combat troops 400 working in support roles - who, when they fight, do so under extremely limited rules of engagement] as part of the NATO effort in Afghanistan.
What worries U.S. officials about the government shakeup is whether the development might lead to a domino effect, ultimately scuttling the NATO presence in Afghanistan altogether, at precisely the time when U.S. forces have started the long anticipated push-back against the Taliban and remaining al-Qaeda elements.
With electorates long dominated by the left [witness less that 15% public support for the NATO commitment in either Britain or Germany, see, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2010/0222/Dutch-government-collapse-Will-other-European-troops-now-leave-Afghanistan] the possibility of a NATO breakup over the question is very real.
If this happens it will end the historic post World War II common defense pact between the Continent and America, only the latest sign of the ossification and cultural decline in Europe.
If the Dutch proceed with the plan to end their role as part of NATO, they will follow the Spanish, who in the wake of al-Qaeda terrorism made a similar move in 2004.
A possible winner in the political uncertainty in the country might be MP Geert Wilders an outspoken critic of his country and Europe's failure to resist Islamic radicalism.
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