Just published

'A Gentle Occupation. Dutch military operations in Iraq, 2003-2005' by Arthur ten Cate and Thijs Brocades Zaalberg of the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) in The Hague.

This book raises the question why, in contrast to most allied troops elsewhere in Iraq, Dutch forces in Al Muthanna province met with little resistance and left Iraq self-confident of their ability to deal with this type of stabilisation operations. Using previously classified documents and interviews, the authors examine the way the Dutch government consciously framed this mission as different from the American and British occupation and often in contrast to the actual situation on the ground. They unravel the widespread idea of a unique and superior 'Dutch approach', by detailing tactical operations and contextualising the Dutch actions within the larger experiences of the Coalition Forces. Ultimately, the authors argue that despite effective tactical reflexes by Dutch commanders, stability in Al Muthanna was conditions-driven rather than the result of a unique national approach.

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