Nuclear Missiles in the Netherlands
The possible stationing of fifty-eight medium-range missiles in the Netherlands has been a hot issue for some time now. The Netherlands is a very loyal member of NATO. There is no political will to leave the treaty organisation; only one or two small left-wing political parties advocate such a step. Membership of NATO involves a far-reaching military and ideological integration. Nevertheless, that integration is far from absolute; a fact which may be attributed to widespread and deep anti-militaristic feeling, which is not confined to anarchist-inspired anti-militarist groups or the small left-wing parties. Anti-militarism also flourishes among the supporters of the Christian-Democratic and Social-Democratic parties. This became apparent during the 1960s, when the USA’s ‘dirty war’ in Vietnam was widely condemned by a horrified Dutch population. From the 1970s onwards, the Peace Movement, in which church organisations play an important part, has been able to mobilise widespread suport in its campaign against Dutch involvement with nuclear weapons — first the neutron bomb, then the stationing of US medium-range missiles on Dutch territory.
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