Senior Course 132, Regional Approaches and PfP Field Study: Denmark
Senior Course 132 arrived in Denmark as part of its third Field Study.
On 14 June 2018, the programme started with a briefing by LtGen Max Arthur Lund Thorsø (‘M.A.L.T.’) Nielsen, Vice Chief of Defence, who broadened the knowledge of the NDC delegation on a variety of military issues from a strategic perspective. LtGen Nielsen’s very informative briefing covered Denmark's strategic position in Europe and in the world, and current operations at home and abroad. He also explained the multi-year Danish Defence Agreements, the most recent covering the period 2018-2023, which have broad political support. These agreements underline Denmark’s committed membership of NATO. He then commented on capability developments for the next few years and gave examples for all the Services, including Special Operations Forces (SOF). To summarize, the Danish Armed Forces in 2024 will include more operational capability and reduced management structures.
Following the defence briefing, Mr Jakob Henningsen, Deputy Head of Department for Global Politics and Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gave a broad presentation on how Denmark envisions global and European security, referring to the risks and challenges ahead. He underlined the complexity and unpredictability of these emerging issues, on the eastern and southern borders of the Alliance in particular, and discussed issues related to the Baltic Sea. He emphasized the role of international organizations like the UN, the EU and NATO, mentioning that they are under pressure for both internal and external reasons. Mr Henningsen pointed out that security policies should include wide-ranging foreign and security policy instruments.
Following the foreign policy briefing, Mr Morten Brodersen from the Ministry of Defence delivered a presentation of his country's security and defence policy. Mr Brodersen focused on the new Danish Defence Agreement 2018-2023. He detailed the political issues related to this agreement and its main provisions. All is about readiness, he said, and further explained how capabilities will increase, how protection against cyber threats will develop and the possibility for military units to provide support to the police. Mr Brodersen finalized his remarks by speaking of Danish NATO commitment and the fact that no country can cope with complex, multiple and simultaneous security challenges by itself, which means that coherent international cooperation is required.
The last briefing to Senior Course 132 in Copenhagen was provided by Major General Kim Jesper Jørgensen, Commander of the Joint Arctic Command. He touched upon the tasks of Danish defence in the Arctic, the resources and units required, the drivers for change in the region and the development of international cooperation. Major General Jørgensen listed the tasks of the Danish Joint Arctic Command, such as surveillance, upholding sovereignty, search and rescue, oil spill response and support to local communities.
The session ended with a panel discussion, featuring some challenging questions from Course Members. The visit to Denmark was a great success, and very much appreciated by the delegation. Course Members received information about the region that complemented Senior Course lectures in Rome with a number of key perspectives.