Senator van Kappen was elected to the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 2007. He is a retired Major-General of the Marine Corps. Over his 34-year career in the Dutch armed forces, he served in numerous operational and staff billets in the Netherlands and abroad.
In his last two postings, he led the Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean and a joint US/Netherlands Task Group working Counter Drug operation in the Caribbean; and served as the top Military Adviser to the Secretary General of the U.N. and as the Director of the Military Division in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at U.N. headquarters in New York.
For his services during this last posting he received, amongst other citations, the Legion of Merit by the president of the United States, the Merito Naval by the president of Venezuela and the Knights cross in the order of Orange and Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.
In August 1998, Major-General van Kappen returned to the Netherlands and retired from the Marine Corps. From 2004 -2010 he held appointments as a Senior Mentor and Senior Concept Developer for NATO. He also participated as a Senior Mentor in the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) programme sponsored by US Pacific Command to enhance regional cooperation and multinational force readiness for Crisis Response in the Asia Pacific Region. He is a Senior Policy Advisor for The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS).
Senator van Kappen joined the NATO PA in 2011 as a member of the Defence and Security and Economics and Security Committees. He served as Vice-Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Transition and Development in 2017-2018. On 19 November 2018 he was elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defence and Security Cooperation and Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is also a voting member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.
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