THE NETHERLANDS: Demilitarizing the Army

Much as the Dutch like the clatter of wooden shoes on cobblestone streets, they have always detested the clicking of military heels. It reminds them of the years of Wehrmacht occupation. They would prefer the army to walk softly, the way resistance fighters did during World War II.

Thus the reform-minded Dutch government recently canceled all military parades planned for the anniversary celebrations of Queen Juliana's 25-year reign next month. Socialist Prime Minister Joop den Uyl found that they would "not fit the mentality of our people." Under prodding from a conscripts' union, to which half of the Dutch army's 60,000...

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