August 1st, 2010
04:36 PM ET

Dutch combat troops leave southern Afghanistan

The Netherlands became the first NATO ally to pull combat troops out of Afghanistan on Sunday as it handed over its mission in southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan province to U.S. and Australian forces.

At the peak of their commitment, the Dutch had nearly 2,000 troops in Afghanistan. Some staff units remain in Afghanistan, according to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, but the Dutch government said the last of its troops will return by December.

"The past four years brought the population of Uruzgan great improvements," the Defense Ministry said in a statement Sunday. "Regrettably, the Netherlands is saddened by its 24 war casualties and 140 wounded."

The Dutch government already had extended its mission by two years. NATO requested another extension as the United States and its allies beefed up forces at the end of 2009, but opposition to the proposal brought down Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's ruling coalition in February.

U.S. and NATO forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 in retaliation for the al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington that September. Allied and local forces quickly toppled the Taliban, the Islamic militia that ruled most of Afghanistan and allowed al Qaeda to operate within its territory.

But top Taliban and al Qaeda leaders escaped the invasion, and Taliban fighters regrouped along the rugged border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The group is now battling both coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan's government.

- CNN's Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.

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Filed under: NATO • Troops
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. dutchy

    Pass the dutchy on the left hand side. And get out of this heck hole.

    August 10, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Becket

    The Dutch government at least follows the wishes of it's electorate, unlike that of the other governments participating in this illigal war.

    August 9, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Roland

    I see people making a lot of comments about this,suggesting it's some kind of political decision or backing out or smart move etc.
    The fact is that the Dutch agreed to secure Uruzgan province as lead nation for 2 years after which NATO was SUPPOSED to have organized another NATO member to take over as lead nation. For some reason this didn't work so they asked to extend the mission for another 2 years this was agreed then the two years went by and still no replacement forces were found willing. So this says more about NATO then it does about anything else.
    The fact is , it doesn't function the way it should function.NATO nations have plenty of forces to stay in Afghanistan forever, all it requires is some proper system of troop rotation and equal sharing of burden between the member states.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Doc Edwards

    The world grows smaller and smaller with every chronon that passes: There is no such thing, anymore, when it comes to the issue of world safety and security, as strictly Dutch interests and U.S. interests; there are only "world" interests. What happens in a remote mountain village in Afghanistan starts an immediate vibration that will soon ripple down the streets of Amsterdam, New York, and Paris, as well as - soon to follow - every hamlet and village inbetween. No one can afford the luxury, or for that matter, the false security, of isolationism, ever again.

    August 8, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

    Because they wouldn't take them!!! They are to stupid even for them...

    August 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ota

    Did you say "wise?" If they were that wise, they would not have gone there in the first place. Apparently, they believed combat was a school yard play

    August 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. robroy

    what kind of comments will there be when the last u.s. troops leave?when those bearded fighters come out of those mountains,they'll only have 2 words for those afghans left behind"WE'RE BACK' you thought those women and childeren were in aworld of crap before,they'll be up to their eyeballs in it .their[taliban] patience is going to outlast your[u.s.] popularity with this mess and china having to flip you guys a banknote for the war.speaking of banknote the bill for iraq alone would have put every american on a healthcare program!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George Patton

    Boy i could use a good tickling

    August 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grimlock

      I'm game if you are.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DamnedContinentalForeigner

    For all you Larries from the midwest some statistics and facts: 2000 troups, 24 casualties, amongst whom a son of a general, 140 casualties, 1.8 billion dollars, a complete infrastructure in place, F16s and Chinooks still on the spot to support our successors, roads and schools realized in Uruzgan. Plus a local population which continues to hate us as kuffars. Plus negative reviews on Al Jazeera and Iran media on Dutch presence. No problem, we can take loathsome midwesterners who hate anything foreign or European on top of that. Returning soldiers run a risk in Holland to be beaten up by islamic youth gangs, you name it. And you know what is the most peculiar aspect of all this? Next time we will follow the US again, as we did in Iraq. We're probably stupid. Thank you for your thankfullness and your attention.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      The onlones that hate us is the Tarriest... Because the way they are going they will end up in the Sea!!! So quit listening to Fox...

      August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        only ones

        August 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeMotor

      Never heard a thing here about soldiers being beaten up by Islamic youth gangs. Complete nonsense! Btw Nobody pushes a soldier around! I am proud of our Troops they did a good job. We contributed a lot if you compare it to our countries size. Good luck to the troops which are taking over Camp Holland and the safety in the Urzugan Region.

      August 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kelana

    it's just an American fight, why in hell any other country will fool and risk itself to get involved in that exhausting war??? some selfish and dumb governments simply sacrifice their own dispensable people.

    Just let the America take the tolls and pay the bills for its relentless military adventures!!

    August 4, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Wait until they strike your country.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Enough of that right-wing mumbo-jumbo,Phunnie boy! It's starting to get old!

        August 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grimlock

      Well put,kelana.How right you are!Thank you.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        You filthy little creep.

        August 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      They are in Afghanistan... But they know we shouldn't be in Iraq and Pakistan and CIA are doing it there!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      well kelana, it is not just an American war. Unlike the Iraq war (where bay the way the Dutch also fought), the Afghanistan war was sanctioned by the UN (so eventough we might not like it it went through the proper chanels) and the UN delegated it to NATO, of which the Netherlands, like the USA is a member. So we didn't just go because we thought it might be good fun, but because it was our responsebility to help (eventhough we don't have as formidable an military as the USA) . - by the way please excuse my crappy english

      August 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Doc Edwards

    While every decent human must abhor war, must do all that can possibly be done to resist the need and/or temptation to go to war until the very last moment, nevertheless, those who harbor evil hearts and devise evil plans do not observe the same controls, forcing all people of good will into dealing with the less than perfect realities that life in this world of want, woe, and war foist upon us, regardless of our more noble and altruisic idealism and good intentioned preferances. That having been said, our good Dutch brethren need to carefully measure just exactly how many kilometers war torn Afghanistan is from the presently peaceful and calm streets of Amsterdam. I would suspect it is a shorter journey than many might now imagine, a journey that grows shorter every day the Taliban is allowed to continue to exist.

    August 4, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Watch out the heads of these Racist might explode with the Truth!!! Then what would happen with these Discussion Boards???

      August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Papa Kilo 15

    Appreciate the help Dutch bro's. Charlie Mike..............

    August 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

    Tony_Homeless_VA.pdf (653KB)

    August 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. psmail2

    In other news, "Several people shot at Connecticut business, officials say" -– Guess killings happen all over the world. So, why is America fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq when we cannot protect Americans?

    August 3, 2010 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Good question,psmail2.It just shows the stupidity of the people in Washington.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    Thanks to the Dutch people, especially the soldiers who served in Afghanistan.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  16. wiser

    PThis is very difficult to resolve. Please learn from teh video shown above. This is not a joke, it serious, very serious. The Taliban and the like must be defieted, and wiped out of the face of the earth. The question is how? Nobody seem to know the answer to that one. However soemthing must be done and urgently. I guess what the wolrd is doing right now is better then just standing and watching the devastation happpening before our eyes.
    Goo dluck to all the brave solders doing there bit.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  17. miked d

    that was a little harsh i take it back.t But they are fighting for the people who died on 911

    August 3, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  18. Clark

    Hi my name is Clark and I'd like to say great video Evan Mark!

    August 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old Man Clark

      Hello Clark,I'm Old Man Clark and wonder if Evan Mark is a C.I.A.agent for posting this horrific photo in order to whip up the public into a right-wing war frenzy.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      Old Man Clark. No you are not you are Daniel-2 posting cr@p right down to the last typo.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Keith

    Man, this Larry Valecia guy is a total d1ck.

    August 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • GBS

      I agree Keith, he comes at it from all angles, just what is it that he wants to say other than us army forever?

      August 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Grimlock

        Something about ungodliness, drones, 500 lb. bombs, right-wing thugs, schizophrenia, alternate IDs, and poor grammar.

        Dude's a broken record.

        August 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        That's because Phunnie boy keeps hijacking my name in order to make me look like some kind of a right-wing jerk and I wish it would stop.

        August 3, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • psmail2

      He is looking for his lost 15 minutes of fame.

      August 2, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Please,Keith.Do cut the Tea Party lingo.There are a lot of names in the English language far less obscene that you can call me.

      August 2, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        How about sh1t head. Does that please you?

        August 3, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        No,Phunnie boy,it does not!!! Try again and quit usurping my name in the meantime!

        August 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      That goes for me too,Keith!

      August 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        You suck-up. Think for your self.

        August 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

    That was great!!! Thanks for posting it for us... It is about time the truth was told!!!

    August 2, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Thank you,Larry.I'm quite touched by your comment,but I'm not quite sure what the truth is.I just suspect what's going on.

      August 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

    Who need them??? They were never where the fighting was!!! They should have been there fighting with the American and English troops as long as they were there... I wonder what good they did while they were there???

    August 2, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      The hope is,Larry,that other countries may just wise up and follow them out of there.

      August 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Me

      You are basically stating that their dead and their wounded aren't as good as ours. imho, That's a very, very sad thing to imply about the people of another country who've sent their soldiers to stand along side our own.

      August 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • GBS

      Larry! Dutch stats: "24 war casualties and 140 wounded..." Out of maybe 2 to 3 thousands troops. And you claim that they were not in a war zone?

      August 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      they lost 24 men and 140 got wounded and you are saying what good they were for? You are so unthankfull for their service.

      August 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoodSoldier

      Oh Larry, you are so strong and virile. Your Rambo-ness excites me.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • alexpdx

      Larry, you're a bumbling, ignorant fool. No other way to put it.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Protium

      Lol. I think Larry lost some money on the Netherlands in the cup.....

      August 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • windrider2

      If they weren't where the fighting is, how do you explain 24 dead and 140 injured? The Dutch actually pioneered techniques for working with the locals in their province which were so successful that they were adopted by other NATO troops elsewhere. They made a two-year commitment, and they kept it. And then they extended that commitment to another two years. And they kept that commitment too. Now they are going home because they finished their commitments, and the Dutch people would not tolerate Parliament making another extension to keep their troops in Afghanistan any longer.

      And please keep in mind that it is not the Dutch's fault that American could not fight the war in Afghanistan alone because we bogged down over 80% of our military and economic resources over in Iraq. That was George Bush's decision and the world has no obligation to come rescue us from our own military misadventures and stupidity. You ought to be grateful for every foreign troop that's come to fight our war for us, instead of throwing out ignorant remarks and bad mouthing our allies.

      August 4, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • ArmyVet89

      At-least they were there. Thank You, to the Dutch people and most of all the Dutch soldiers for having our backs in a war they didn't start.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • redlightdistrict

      Imagine that! A country who's government actually listen's to it's population.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roelof

      Dutch troops liked to stay. It was a decission made by one of our parties, that's why our last gov. fell. We still there to train police, just a smaller mission and the (PVDA) party of islamic immigrants isn't in our gov. any longer. Holland voted them out.

      August 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  22. bailoutsos

    American agents gave info about Israeli spies to Lebanon, who in turn gave it to Hezbollah, who in turn have killed 2 or more Israeli spies. As The World Turns.

    August 2, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      It is not funny how You racist blame Israel for every fighting all over the World!!! Will you please tell us how they started that war???

      August 2, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  23. Frank

    Good Grief, the Dutch always have the right solution. From healthcare, to drug legalization to ending needless wars. Viva the Dutch!

    August 2, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      God posting,Frank.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      I meant good posting,Frank.It was just a slip of the keyboard.My humble apology.

      August 2, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Panthera

      Well Frank: it ain't much, if it ain't Dutch.😉
      But I am glad we are no longer there, useless loss of lifes.

      August 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Grimlock

        Panthera,I totally agree with you.I just hope that other countries may reconsider their obscene misadventure into this mess.

        August 2, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        well actually, we are still there. we only completed our two runs as lead nation in Uruzgan province, but we still got some units elsewhere (eg artillery and airsupport, airbidge etc), and there is a possibility that the new rightwing governement – when it succeeds in its formation – will send an other mission elsewhere in Afghanistan. and there is also broad support in parlement to send a police training mission.

        August 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Daniel-2

    I just want to thank the Dutch for doing the right thing.From me to Amsterdam,a big Thank You!

    August 2, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Dutchie

      Youre Welcome!

      August 2, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        Get stuffed Daniel-2.

        August 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  25. pappster

    GET OUT NOW. END THE WAR.

    August 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • dnsmith

      We can leave overnight and the war will still not end. The taliban is evil and will not stop fighting until they again enslave Afghanistan.

      August 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Miss Me

        Then let the Afghanistans fight for themselves. America can't give the Middle East freedom. They will need to figure out if they want it and how to get it for themselves.

        August 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        If you look at Afghan history they prefer their Masters to be local when being enslaved.

        August 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Bledsoe

    How are we to know that it wasn't carried out by some C.I.A.disguised as a Taliban fighter?They'll do almost anything to whip up support for this obnoxious war.I guess we'll never know.

    August 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grimlock

      Are you being sarcastic?

      August 2, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Of course I'm not,Grimlock!!!

      August 2, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      No he is just being stupid as usual.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Daniel-2

    Is Phunnie boy going to try to make a sick joke out of this,too?Anything to get a laugh out of life!!!

    August 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      You can say that again,Dan.

      August 1, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Gary Johndro

    How awful!!! Who took it?It sure looks as bad as bad can be!

    August 1, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesse Cook

      You can say that again!Wow!

      August 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  29. George Patton

    I just wish that the Dutch would do the right thing and get all of their troops out of Afghanistan the way we should!They need to stop taking orders from Washington and make their own policies.

    August 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel-2

      Hopefully other countries may follow the Dutch example and that may in turn lead to an end to this obscene war.I hope so,but it may just be wishfull thinking,George.

      August 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        It would have been a lot better if they helped in the first place!!!

        August 2, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        I wish the war ends and also the 56 billiion$ yearly bill that we pay in tax... ohh or may be our kids will pay along with interest since we didnt have this money .... we borrowed it from our "friend" China.

        August 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • GBS

      Okay now Larry, just what is it that makes you so anti Dutch? They were there, they fought, now they got smart and left. Latvia has 160 troops in Afghanistan, wanna make remarks about them to?

      August 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Yes I do,GBS.The Latvians are stupid enough to have their troops die for the right-wing thugs in Washington,but to what purpose?I should have known,foreign aid,of course!!!

        August 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |