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Dutch soldiers to practice on German tanks

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - The Dutch army, which has mothballed most of its tanks due to budget cuts, may be training on German tanks in the future so it will not lose its experience with this type of weaponry, army commander General Mart de Kruif says. Talks with the German military about using German tanks in Dutch military exercises are currently being held. The commander added that the Dutch, from a military vantage point, have not yet reached the limit of cooperation with the Germans. The Dutch and the Germans already have extensive forms of cooperation in other military endeavours. Tanks remain an essential military tool for the Dutch, also during foreign missions. The general sees benefits in having tanks, because of their fire power, mobility and armour when needing to dominate an adversary on the ground. Days earlier, Dutch Defense Minister Hans Hillen stressed the need for military cooperation in a speech he gave at the Atlantic Council in Washington. He views it as essential to maintain NATO in the current economic crisis as a safety guarantee, but that it is necessary that the participants continue to expand their cooperation.