Improving Belgian transparency and public accountability in the war against Daesh

Belgium began its air campaign against so-called Islamic State in Iraq on October 5th 2014 – targeting Daesh alongside other international Coalition partners. In nine months, six Belgian F-16s carried out approximately 113 airstrikes, a significant contribution to the war effort.

The parliamentary debate in 2016 on possibly extending Belgian airstrikes to Syria represented an important opportunity to reassess:

1. How the Defence Ministry has reported anti-Daesh actions;
2. To compare such reporting with that of close allies;
3. And for MPs and wider society to consider how transparency and public accountability for Belgian military actions might be improved moving forward.

This briefing paper seeks to address these issues, recommending that Belgium adopts a far more transparent approach to airstrike reporting in the second phase of its air campaign.


Date: 01/May/2016
Author: Airwars

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