Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lack of leadership in Dutch security forces

The Dutch state goes into a state of hypertension when acts of terror occur. The security policy is purely tactical and lacking in formulating a coherent strategy for tackling with treats to law, order and public security. The culture of Dutch security administration is lacking in leadership.

This is the conclusion of a report by former minister E. Brinkman.

According to the report The Netherlands are still not well prepared for terror attacks. The internal security service AIVD does not have the capacity to deal with a large terrorist attack. The police and military have yet to show their effectiveness in dealing with terrorism. This is mainly caused by the culture of consensus. In times of sudden threats there is a need for decisive rather than consultative leadership.

The report says that the Dutch security hierarchy knows too many officials, too much co-ordination, too much policy-making and a lack of unity. Comparing The Netherlands to the UK Brinkman finds that the security services over there are well-organised, exchange information that is relevant and that have a responsive command and co-ordination structure.

Brinkman also recommended to reorganise the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice. Both Ministries should be abolished (now that is what we call "to reorganise!") and in their place a Ministry of Security, flanked by a Ministry of Administration and Law should be founded.

The Government Coalition is going to postphone restructuring the Dutch civil and security administration until after the election, due to the rather fundamental nature of the reforms, thusly illustrating the validity of the critisism of the Dutch political leadership.

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