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Netherlands, Intelligence and Security

Netherlands, Intelligence and Security

The Kingdom of the Netherlands was established following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Since its founding, the Netherlands has been influential in international politics, but has long maintained a policy of stated neutrality. Despite their officially neutral position, the Netherlands was invaded and occupied by Nazi forces during World War II. Though the Queen and many government officials fled to Britain before the invasion, the Dutch people formed secret resistance groups and refugee smuggling networks, many led by members of the Dutch intelligence community.

After World War II, the Netherlands reformed several government agencies, including the intelligence and security services. The Dutch government strengthened the intelligence community, and its accountability to government officials. Separate civilian and military intelligence services were created, but were designed to work in cooperation with each other. Today, the Netherlands is a member of the European Union, and hosts the international courts of the United Nations.

The main civilian intelligence agency is the Algemene Inlichtingen -en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), or the General Intelligence and Security Service. The agency conducts all means of intelligence operations, but focuses on domestic intelligence. The AIVD is charged with the protection of domestic security and assessment of threats to Dutch interests within its national and territorial borders. The agency analyzes all intelligence information, and reports threats and other security issues to government officials. The Netherlands established their military intelligence service immediately before the outbreak of World War I maintained those services, even operating clandestinely during the World War II Nazi occupation. The current, primary, Dutch military intelligence agency is the Militaire Inlichtingendienst (MID), or Military Intelligence Agency. The Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Affairs all contribute to the administration of the MID. Though foreign intelligence and external security issues are the primary focus of the MID, the agency also conducts strategic communications, economic, technological, and limited political intelligence operations. The agency maintains a counter-terrorism and counter espionage force, the Counter Intelligence Task Bureau, (CIV). Securing military and government interests and guarding them from espionage are the chief concerns of the CIV.

Dutch intelligence works closely with allies in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In addition to supporting international intelligence efforts to halt weapons proliferation and fight global terrorism, the Dutch intelligence and security communities also protect significant United Nations interests in The Hague.

SEE ALSO

European Union
World War II

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