Report

A Classic Dilemma? The choice between renovation and innovation in Dutch defense planning

May 26th 2020 - 13:30

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This snapshot considers the path forward for Dutch defense planning. While the Netherlands has a relatively small defense budget, wise investment in innovation for the future will allow these funds to go a long way in preparing for coming developments in warfare, especially as the coronavirus crisis highlights the need for better governmental budgeting. In particular, it is necessary to anticipate the rising importance of the cyber and hybrid-warfare domains and increase capabilities in these areas. This requires research, testing, and implementation of new technologies with collaboration across the different parts of the Dutch military forces, as well as a rethinking of the nature of military tasks and aims. In general, a move from nationally oriented, classical defense to modern, future-oriented strategies and skills is vital to maintaining and augmenting the Netherlands’ relevance on the international defense stage as a valuable partner in NATO and the European Union.

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Photo credit: US Airforce

Patrick Bolder is an officer in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Since January 2019 he is seconded to The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. His expertise lies in all Defence matters, with a focus on Military Space, Unmanned systems, European Defence issues and Nuclear Policy.
Esther Chavannes is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS, primarily focusing on topics where security, politics and law intersect. Most recently she conducted research into the ethical challenges of using Robotic and Autonomous Systems in a military context. Apart from emerging technologies in the Defense sector, she works on security challenges in Southeast Asia, regulatory frameworks of civil technology in the EU, and right-wing political violence in the digital age.