HCSS in the media

Netherlands frames defence strategy to 2035

October 29th 2020 - 17:00
Dutch Defence Vision 2035

The Netherlands MoD on 15 October released its Defence Vision 2035, as a transformational effort to create smart, high-tech and reliable armed forces. Defence Vision lays out ten 'design principles' to be adhered to, in order to modernise the Dutch military and improve its equipment inventory.

Tim Sweijs, Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies think tank, noted that the Defence Vision foresees an armed forces that is technologically advanced, information-driven and a reliable partner, both nationally and internationally. Sweijs emphasised that this document is not a white paper. ‘The actual concrete plan much depends on whether this will be carried out after the next elections in 2021 by the next government and the degree to which they will follow up on these plans,’ he explained.

[…] recruitment and retention are other issues the armed forces may face in the coming years. Currently, there are around 10,000 positions that need to be filled in the services, meaning there is a 20-25% personnel shortage.

‘They need unique people, with different skill sets and more highly educated,’ Sweijs said.

For Sweijs, the armed forces are not yet adequately equipped to operate in the space domain and cyberspace, meaning that hybrid and digital threats are a problem. He noted that the Netherlands defence community recognises this. It intends to operate in a multi-domain context and integrate the armed services in such a way to take joint operations to the next level in which air, maritime and land forces share situational awareness and seamlessly operate together.

Read the full Defense Notes article by Flavia Camargos Pereira at Shephard Media | 29th October 2020

Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.