From peacekeeping to combating cybercrime, and from joint operations against terrorist groups to ensuring that human rights violators face their day in court, the Netherlands and the United States work closely together around the world to promote peace, justice, and security.
Our partnership is longstanding. The Netherlands and the United States are strong allies, and Dutch and American men and women have fought side-by-side in many operations and missions around the world.
We remain eternally grateful for the American sacrifices to liberate the Netherlands in World War II. The Netherlands Carillon, just outside Washington, D.C. next to Arlington National Cemetery, symbolizes that Dutch gratitude to the people of the United States. The people of the Netherlands gave the Carillon to the people of the United States as a way to thank them for their help during and after World War II.
We celebrate the fact that, since 1945, we have been living again in freedom. And we endeavor to protect that freedom together – for ourselves and for others, now and in the future.
Peace and justice
Peace and justice are part of our country’s DNA. Centuries ago, when the Netherlands was on the brink of its independence, a Dutchman named Hugo Grotius became one of the founding fathers of international law. We are convinced that a functioning legal order is in the interests of all countries.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “right makes might.” International law creates a level playing field and lays down clear, predictable rules that apply equally to all. Our commitment continues to this day.
And we walk the talk. Today, the Hague is known as the legal capital of the world and the international City of Peace and Justice. That it became so is due in no small part to our friendship with the United States.
Andrew Dickson White and Andrew Carnegie were key to building the Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Since 1913, when the Peace Palace was built, the Hague became the host city to many international organizations dedicated to peace and security, such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the International Criminal Court, the International Commission on Missing Persons, and several special tribunals and courts.
Fighting international crime
The United States and the Netherlands work closely together in the fight against international criminal organizations, terrorist organizations, and maligned state actors. “Partnership” and “mutual trust” are the key words.
Many criminal investigations in the Netherlands start with operational information provided by American federal agencies, like the FBI and the DEA. And in numerous cases, the Netherlands Police and Public Prosecution Service assist American law enforcement in cybercrime and money laundering investigations.
On a regular basis, American partner organizations provide valuable input for the Netherlands Terrorism and Cyber Threat Assessments from the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism.
In the fast-moving fields of cybersecurity, malign foreign influence and other cyber intrusions by state actors, the United States and the Netherlands partner up. We exchange best practices about the protection of our critical infrastructure, as well as protecting sensitive technologies and our economic security. The importance of the transatlantic partnership cannot be overstated: the hostile actors that threaten the national and economic security of the United States also threaten the Netherlands and other European countries.
Security and defense
The United States is the Netherlands’ most important strategic ally. We work together to make the world safer and more secure, for example, by combating violent extremism and fostering nuclear nonproliferation. We join forces to combat a range of global threats, from rogue actors in cyberspace to the poisonous ideology of Da’esh/ISIS and other terrorist groups.
The American-Dutch partnership underpins our security and saves lives. The heart of the relationship is a human one: the flow of people and ideas between our countries, our shared history, and a common language across the full spectrum of defense. We jointly invest in military programs and missile defense systems. And our military personnel, intelligence officials and civil servants work together every day.
Our soldiers often operate shoulder to shoulder with yours. After World War II, our countries became close allies in NATO. This was not only reflected by our unwavering support for US leadership in the alliance, but also by our engagement and participation in many NATO- and US-led military operations, from Korea to Kosovo and from Afghanistan to the Horn of Africa.
Today, our forces are deployed together in places such as the Baltics and Poland and Iraq. Closer to the United States, we work together in the fight against drugs, illegal fishing and environmental crime in the Caribbean. The Netherlands has enjoyed a reliable partnership with the US Coast Guard and the U.S. Southern Command for over 25 years.
Learn more about the military cooperation between the United States and the Netherlands.