The Dutch government, a junior partner of U.S. imperialism, recently announced that it would pull 2,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months.
On Feb. 19, the Dutch government collpased after a futile effort to extend the troop deployment.
This is another embarrassing blow for the U.S. ruling class and its imperialist occupation of Afghanistan. The Pentagon fears that this could be the tip of the iceberg. There are over 34,000 non-U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including over 20,000 troops from countries in Europe.
For the past four years, Dutch troops have been stationed in the southern part of Afghanistan. They have encountered stiff and sustained resistance to their presence as colonial occupiers.
This withdrawal is a clear indication of the strength and organization of the resistance in Afghanistan, and also the sustained and deepening anti-war sentiment in Europe. Dutch public opinion has consistently opposed the unpopular war, and as mass anti-war sentiment continued to reach higher levels in Europe, the Dutch government was forced to pull out its troops.
The strong popular opposition to the Afghanistan war throughout Europe comes as the Obama administration implemented a troop increase—something that has stoked widespread popular anger.
The Dutch withdrawal comes at a time when the U.S. ruling class is trying to justify its mass offensive against the resistance movement, which has included the killing of innocent civilians, including children. U.S./NATO airstrikes have killed more than 50 civilians during the past few weeks.
On March 20, tens of thousands of people across the United States will demand, "No colonial-type wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Haiti!"