The Netherlands needs to be wholehearted about its mission to Afghanistan. At its current level, Professor of Disaster Studies doubts whether the mission stands much chance of success.
And yet even that major effort did not achieve much when it comes to improving the way the police or the lawcourts function, concluded Hilhorst from evaluation reports. 'The police cannot work without a properly functioning legal system. Everyday criminality is hardly ever addressed in Afghanistan. And why should you arrest a thief if there is no lawyer to sentence him, or if the thief can buy his way out of trouble?'
Hilhorts thinks sending out a police force does have some symbolic value in showing that the Netherlands is not abandoning Afghanistan. 'There are forces at work in Afghanistan to improve human rights there. We went into the adventure last time alongside them. An adventure that is important for us too.'
However, you could also say that the Netherlands has done enough in Afghanistan, with the mission to Uruzghan, she adds. What is more: 'Up to now the experience is that police officers do not dish out penalties or observe human rights. They are mainly deployed for military purposes. So for me there are serious questions as to whether this mission will contribute to a better police force in Kunduz.