The government of the Netherlands announced Friday that it will continue to participate in the fight against ISIS up to 2017. Since 2014, Dutch forces have provided military training in Iraq, including preparations for the liberation of Mosul and force protection for Belgian F-16s involved in the campaign. The government also announced that it would send a tanker aircraft and a navy vessel to join the effort. The unidentified tanker will assist with in-flight fighter jet refueling and the HNLMS Rotterdam will be stationed near Libya to train the Libyan coast guard in their efforts to police human trafficking and monitor refugees.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.