Why is the Netherlands willing to export F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine? Aren't they afraid of Russia?

Please, let’s hear what everyone has to say.

What’s there to fear? Last time, the large goose shot down a passenger plane in Eastern Ukraine, and all those on board were Dutch.

The Netherlands and Russia are theoretically archenemies.

First of all, Russia has nothing much to fear; after two years of fighting, the front is still in Eastern Ukraine and by the Dnieper River. The boasts of a swift victory, claiming to drink from the English Channel within a week before February 24, are still vividly remembered.

In 2014, a separatist commander in Eastern Ukraine fired a Buk missile, downing MH17, resulting in the death of all 298 people aboard, 192 of whom were Dutch. To this date, Russia has not provided a satisfactory explanation.

In a way, the commander, known as Strelkov, has also been punished. He is suspected of extremism and is now indefinitely detained by Russia. It’s a case of a villain meeting a villain’s end.

The prime culprit in the Malaysia Airlines shootdown incident.

Of course, vengeance for MH17 must be sought.

Unlike some, who busy themselves with revoking the nationality of their compatriots when disaster strikes.

Are you considering the Netherlands as a dutiful child as well?

Tell a joke, who’s still afraid of Russia nowadays.

As for those who are still afraid of Russia now, it seems that it’s not just the Eastern Asian country Vietnam.

I’ve read the comments, they are both entertaining and insightful.

Fear, why provide weapons and assistance to Ukraine if not afraid? Isn’t this similar to Ukraine and Finland joining NATO? If not afraid, why seek alliances with others?

During World War II, why did the United States pass the Lend-Lease Act to provide supplies to its allies while not actively participating in the war? Wasn’t the basic logic to prevent Germany from gaining more strength and ultimately dominating the world?

In the Fireside Chat, Roosevelt even told a lie to pass the act. His general idea was, “Your neighbor’s house is on fire, and he borrows your garden hose to put it out. If you don’t lend it, the fire may spread to your own house.”

In reality, the F-16 and a garden hose are entirely different. Can you return a damaged F-16?

Currently, European Union countries that have better economies and are more developed are providing more assistance to Ukraine. In a way, these countries' collective memory of war leads to their fear of it, and in turn, these countries also have the capability. Not to mention the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, which are also acting out of fear. Many of us can’t make sense of this logic, and some even claim that the EU is collectively acting foolishly. However, in reality, the countries that produce top-notch products like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Airbus, and Siemens are not foolish. Then, which countries, unable to develop such products, are truly foolish?

Speaking of the F-16 on a leisurely Saturday, many people may argue that the F-16 is not as advanced as the F-22, F-35, or even the Eurofighter and F-15 in the NATO arsenal, and therefore, it may not play a significant role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, the F-16 is designed for rough work, offering quality at an affordable price, similar to a Toyota Corolla or a Ford Focus as everyday cars. It may not be as fast as a Ferrari or as luxurious as a Rolls-Royce, but it gets the job done. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a standard part of NATO. In fact, aside from the United States, Israel and Pakistan have also put the F-16 to good use, achieving results in real combat. In the Bekaa Valley Air Battle, bombing Iraq’s nuclear facilities, and the Gulf War, the F-16 performed admirably. Pakistan has used the F-16 to compete with the Soviet Union’s forces in Afghanistan since the 1980s and later in air confrontations with the Indian Air Force without falling behind.

Since the F-16 provided to Ukraine by NATO countries, including the Netherlands, is likely to be equipped with NATO data links, this means that battlefield information captured by NATO’s warning aircraft, satellites, and radar can be transmitted in real-time to Ukraine’s F-16s. It is even possible that NATO assists in providing electronic warfare and soft-kill capabilities on the battlefield and relay guidance for medium and long-range air-to-air, air-to-ground, and possibly air-to-sea missiles launched by Ukrainian F-16s. At the very least, when Russian aircraft take off and enter the conflict zone, Ukrainian forces will receive warnings, improving their survival chances. Russia itself already faces challenges from Ukraine’s existing Soviet-made air defense missiles. With the arrival of the F-16, it will likely face more headaches, especially in dealing with long-range air-to-air missiles launched remotely by F-16s. Previously, Ukraine’s air defense operations were passive, essentially relying on reacting to enemy attacks. Because Patriot and other NATO air defense missiles couldn’t be deployed too far forward, they could only protect critical points. Now, with the arrival of the F-16, Ukraine gains active defense capabilities. When Russian aircraft take off, Ukrainian forces can also scramble and intercept them in advance. With an increase in the number of Ukrainian aircraft in the future, it’s not unthinkable that they will further challenge Russian air superiority, at least against aircraft like the Su-25 and Ka-52. Many people always mock Western weapons for their shortage of ammunition, but have you ever looked up how many aircraft these countries have retired and placed in storage? Even if the F-16 is not effective, they can easily provide F-18 Hornets, Mirage 2000s, and Eurofighters. Moreover, these countries' defense ministries are eager to upgrade and replace other aircraft. To give an analogy, if you and a wealthy person both drive a Passat, and one day, the wealthy person feels it’s time to switch to a V12 Bentley Continental, while you continue with your Passat. As the risks between Russia and Ukraine continue to spill over, this arms race will only intensify. Next, arms races may appear in East Asia, South Asia, the South China Sea, and even the Middle East.

People come to the Netherlands uninvited.

I think there are mainly two reasons, one familiar to everyone and one less known.

  1. Russia and the Netherlands have deep-seated animosity.

    On the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane, shot down by the Eastern Ukrainian militia using the Buk missile of Russia’s 20th Red Banner Army “3rd Battalion,” there were 193 Dutch citizens on board.

    Note: The “3rd Battalion” is not a specific designation but refers to surplus equipment after the transformation of a motorized infantry brigade into a BTG (battalion tactical group). In Russia, conscripted soldiers cannot be deployed for overseas combat, so every three Russian motorized infantry battalions contribute two BTGs, and the excess equipment of one battalion is generally provided to Eastern Ukrainian militia cannon fodder, often referred to as the “3rd Battalion.”

    Where I currently live (Amsterdam), every first Monday of the month, they test air raid alarms, simulating an enemy, Russia (though they don’t officially admit that the enemy is Russia until hostilities begin).

    Moreover, in the Netherlands, even the far-right Dutch Party for Freedom (PvV) dare not touch Ukraine. In the November 2nd parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, the far-right party PvV achieved a landslide victory. The party advocates leaving the EU, exiting the Schengen Agreement, building border walls to prevent refugees, dismantling all mosques in the Netherlands, and sending foreigners back to their home countries. Despite all this, even with their “Netherlands First” platform, they dare not say they will cut off assistance to Ukrainebecause their voter base is fueled by intense revenge emotions. The party leader, Geert, regards Trump as an idol. He previously stated that he would stop paying for Ukraine, but he quickly retreated when his own supporters, eager for revenge for the victims, stormed his office.

  2. The current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, wants to preserve his diplomatic legacy.

    Mark Rutte currently serves as the head of the caretaker government, the caretaker cabinet prime minister. His party, the VVD, has lost to the far-right PvV, and Geert, the Party for Freedom leader, is attempting to form a coalition government. If he succeeds, Mark Rutte will have to step down.

    Although the far-right PvV, due to public opinion, might not openly say whether they will stop aiding Ukraine, the decision on whether or not to provide F-16s is uncertain. This is because Mark Rutte’s F-16s were directly taken from the active aircraft of the Dutch Air Force, and the far-right advocates disengaging from alliances and establishing their own Dutch defense.

    Therefore, Mark Rutte, while still an interim leader, swiftly sent the F-16s, securing his political legacy. Mark Rutte is effective on domestic matters, but his foreign policy is generally lacking. Pointing to the F-16s in the hangar and promising them to Zelensky was likely his only foreign policy highlight.

Answering this question normally takes at least some eloquence.

Nonsense and sarcasm are common on Zhihu, with repetitive and unsubstantial phrases. It’s not a matter of culture, but simply a lack of education.

Putin’s son-in-law is Dutch, and their family lived in the Netherlands for a long time. They only returned to Russia after the Crimea incident.

The Netherlands focuses on addressing issues, not personal attacks. Rutte is currently the caretaker Prime Minister, merely fulfilling the Netherlands' obligations as a NATO member.

Even if Russia wanted to provoke, there isn’t much they can do against Rutte, a seasoned politician with over a decade in office. Besides, his political career is ending, and a new prime minister hasn’t been elected yet, so he’s trying to hold the fort.

Russia isn’t foolish; it won’t antagonize all of Europe, especially the veteran capitalist countries of Western Europe.

The Netherlands understands this well and knows how to handle relations with Russia.

The MH17 incident, where 193 Dutch lives vanished along with the plane, is a knot that the Netherlands cannot untie. Regardless of how you view it, it appears as a conspiracy. The incident happened on Ukrainian territory, and solely attributing it to Russia based on the Buk missile is a stretch.

Back then, there was a pressing need to further tarnish Russia’s international image, and showcasing its wickedness was politically correct. Intelligence agencies in the U.S. and Europe are not to be underestimated.

There’s nothing more abhorrent than attacking civilian aircraft, and there’s a precedent from the former Soviet Union shooting down a South Korean airliner, though it couldn’t be directly linked to Soviets.

The MH17 incident occurred during Rutte’s tenure, and it weighs on him. As he’s about to leave Dutch politics, he’s making a statement to Russia and summarizing the outcome of the MH17 incident.

Russia won’t turn a blind eye, but they won’t overly pursue it either. They will say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.

This move by Europe and the U.S. is pushing Ukraine further into the abyss.

Russia doesn’t even dare to challenge the Baltic States, let alone hold onto Kiev. Why would the Netherlands fear Russia?

Back when Russia downed Malaysia Airlines MH17, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of Dutch citizens, the Netherlands finally had a chance for vengeance against Russia. How could the Netherlands pass up the opportunity for retaliation against Russia?

Apart from certain rare ethnic groups in Yugoslavia, there are very few in this world who inherently fear Russia.

Your Lan’s F16 is an A model with pulse-Doppler radar, its detection range is far better than the batch of blank-slate Su-27s imported by China, which are essentially discarded goods.

The “红毛子” (meaning “red-haired” in a colloquial context, likely referring to Russia) and the “老毛子” (likely referring to Russia as well) are quite distant from each other. Given the comparative strength of the “老毛子,” it’s out of reach. In terms of trade, the “红毛子” has its own reserves of oil and natural gas, making it difficult for the “老毛子” to intervene.

Their means of counteraction are limited.

Many years ago, the “红毛子” once sold four conventional submarines to the “蛙岛” (possibly a nickname for a country or region), and the “兔子” (likely referring to a third party) immediately severed diplomatic ties with the “红毛子” (practically by recalling its own ambassador and expelling the “红毛子’s” ambassador). Subsequently, the Germans detained the submarines in the port of Hamburg, rendering the deal unexecutable. There seems to be a mole within Europe.

At that time, the “红毛子’s” cabinet collapsed directly. The new cabinet restored diplomatic relations with the “兔子.”

Now, the “红毛子” is extremely left-leaning and has displayed some unfriendly actions toward the “兔子,” such as restricting the export of certain high-tech equipment and products. However, we haven’t taken strong action against the “红毛子” yet, perhaps due to other considerations.

Fear, but only for an hour and twenty-two minutes.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has already equipped 38 of the latest Lockheed Martin F-35A “Lightning” multi-role fighter jets, with 30 of them deployed within the Netherlands and another 8 based at Luke Air Force Base in the United States. Additionally, there are 14 more awaiting delivery. These F-35A aircraft possess stealth capabilities and the ability to integrate with NATO’s airborne intelligence systems. Therefore, if there are no overseas combat missions, the existing F-35A aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force can already fulfill the roles of air defense and ground support for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In the event of a large-scale Russian invasion of Europe, the Netherlands also has the capability to resist Russia.

Furthermore, the economy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is not dependent on the Russian Federation. Even if Russia were to impose economic sanctions out of frustration, it would have little impact on the Netherlands.

Why are the Dutch unafraid?

Because Russia harmed one plane of the Dutch.

The Dutch don’t adhere to " rule the world through filial piety," so why should they fear Russia.

So here’s the question, will Ukraine sell this to Hamas? If they do, does Ukraine count as Hamas?

If there was any fear before, this clash between Russia and Ukraine would make them feel that Russia has nothing much to fear either.

Whether it’s the past Soviet Union or the current Russia, they have never clashed with NATO member countries. Is the Netherlands, an old NATO member, afraid?

In 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile launched by Russian-backed forces over Donetsk, a region controlled by Russia at the time. The mastermind behind this operation was Strelkov.

All 298 passengers on board perished, including 193 Dutch citizens. The Netherlands considers this incident a great shame and believes that revenge is best served, even a decade later. Yes, it’s almost a full decade now. Dutch people keep their word. Indeed!

So, is the Netherlands afraid of Russia? Um… well… oh… afraid? Not a chance!

The distance from Moscow to Amsterdam is nearly 2500 kilometers, and judging by the Russian military’s pace in Ukraine, it might take them a thousand years to get there. Russia’s greatest loss this time isn’t on the battlefield; it’s the decades of maintaining a formidable image that has turned into a joke. In broad daylight, for all to see, Putin the Emperor is spinning a millstone naked.

Don’t say the Netherlands is afraid of Russia; none of the NATO countries fear the Russians. When the Baltic States are in a bad mood, they just close their borders. Want to visit your little enclave in Kaliningrad? If the Baltic States don’t allow it, swim there yourself! Finland recently briefly closed its borders and opened 15 military bases for NATO deployment. They completely disregard the bluster of the Big Bear. If you’re not happy, go back where you came from!

If Russia has managed to hold on until today, it’s thanks to those thousands of gas cylinders left behind by the benevolent predecessors. That’s why NATO has been cautious in providing military aid, and Ukraine hasn’t dared to send troops to attack the Russian mainland directly. However, Russian friends shouldn’t celebrate too soon. The most significant deterrent of nuclear weapons lies in the launchers, and if Putin’s Parkinson’s acts up and he accidentally pushes the button, the Emperor better start digging a hole for himself in a hurry.