Viewing cable 06THEHAGUE2140, NETHERLANDS/JSF: CABINET APPROVES FOLLOW-ON PHASE;
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|06THEHAGUE2140||2006-09-29 14:02||2011-01-17 00:12||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy The Hague|
VZCZCXYZ0002 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHTC #2140 2721442 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 291442Z SEP 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6982 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 002140 SIPDIS SIPDIS STATE FOR EUR/UBI; OSD FOR FRANK KENLON, MARY MILLER E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2016 TAGS: MARR PGOV PREL NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/JSF: CABINET APPROVES FOLLOW-ON PHASE; PARLIAMENT... 80194,9/29/2006 14:42,06THEHAGUE2140,"Embassy The Hague",CONFIDENTIAL,,"VZCZCXYZ0002 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHTC #2140 2721442 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 291442Z SEP 06 FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6982 INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY","C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 002140 SIPDIS SIPDIS STATE FOR EUR/UBI; OSD FOR FRANK KENLON, MARY MILLER E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2016 TAGS: MARR PGOV PREL NL SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/JSF: CABINET APPROVES FOLLOW-ON PHASE; PARLIAMENT NEXT Classified By: Political Counselor Andrew Schofer, reasons 1.4 (b,d) ¶1. (C) Summary: Following the weekly Cabinet meeting, the GONL announced September 29 its decision to participate in the Production, Sustainment, and Follow-on Phase of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The Cabinet announcement stressed that the GONL intends to sign the follow-on MOU with the USG in early November following parliamentary approval. Dutch officials expect parliamentary debate as early as October 9. End summary. ¶2. (C) The Cabinet press statement stressed that signing the MOU does not commit the Dutch to buy JSF -- signing the MOU was a ""logical step"" but not ""irreversible."" Final decision on JSF procurement would occur in 2009. Nevertheless, the announcement made the case that JSF is the best candidate to replace the Dutch Air Force's aging F-16 fleet, while participation in the JSF program has been good for both Dutch Defense and industry. It noted that 70 Dutch companies have obtained over USD 700 million in contracts, while participation in the follow-on phase could result in revenue of over USD eight billion. ¶3. (C) The press announcement was accompanied by an eight-page letter from MOD State Secretary Cees van der Knaap to Parliament, which explained the purpose of the follow-on phase while making financial and defense arguments in favor of signing the MOU in November. MOD Policy Advisor for North American Affairs Eric Veerheem told ODC officer September 29 that he expects Parliament to debate the issue as early as October 9. ¶4. (C) Comment: Coming out publicly in favor of signing the MOU is a signal that the GONL is confident it has a majority of votes in Parliament to approve participation in the follow-on phase. With government coalition members like the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Party -- coupled with smaller parties like List Pim Fortuyn and Christian Union -- in favor of the program, the GONL has cause to be confident. Nevertheless, JSF has been an election issue for the main opposition Labor Party (PvdA), which could well come out swinging against JSF in the parliamentary debate. End comment. ARNALL