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Viewing cable 06THEHAGUE2140, NETHERLANDS/JSF: CABINET APPROVES FOLLOW-ON PHASE;

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
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