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NDC - News-Inside Denmark's Defence: A Nordic Ally's Viewpoint

Inside Denmark's Defence: A Nordic Ally's Viewpoint

  • 11 Dec. 2023
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  • Last updated: 21 Jan. 2024 12:55

The flagship course of the NATO Defense College, Senior Course 143, travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark, as the first stop of the third Field Study of their curriculum, to learn from leading practitioners about the Danish defence and security strategies and how they respond to the complex global security landscape.

The Danish Chief of Defence addressing the audience

As a founding member of NATO, Denmark has steadfastly upheld its commitment to the Alliance's collective mission since its foundation. Moreover, the Kingdom of Denmark holds significant strategic importance for Western Allies given to its geographical position. The country not only facilitates access to the Baltic Sea and the Arctic, but also serves as a pivotal connecting point between Europe and North America. This visit allowed Course Members to broaden their understanding on the perspectives and position of a core Nordic Ally, and its contributions to European and Alliance security.

During the visit at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Course Members had the opportunity to engage with the Danish Chief of Defence, General Flemming Lentfer. They explored Denmark’s strategic overview on security, and the country’s role within NATO. Additionally, they discussed with high level practitioners at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence about Denmark’s defence, security and foreign policies. The Commander of the Joint Artic Command, Major General Søren Andersen (a graduate of the NDC Senior Course), elaborated on the security situation in the Artic.

The briefings provided insights into Denmark's priorities to bolster the nation's security and defence capabilities in response to the current and future security challenges. Presentations underscored Denmark’s commitment to continue providing long-term support to Ukraine and the paradigm shift for Danish defence, as a consequence of the intensified threat from Russia. Denmark’s defence strategy now emphasizes a heightened contribution to NATO’s defence and deterrence, with a particular focus on fortifying defence capabilities and increased presence in the Northern, Artic and Baltic regions.

Furthermore, the new 10-year defense agreement, noted as the lengthiest plan in the country's history, outlines an enduring commitment to elevate the defense budget to NATO's established target: 2 percent of the national gross domestic product, emphasized Major General Jacob Christian Alexa, Chief of Plans and Capabilities of the Danish Armed Forces.

The briefings offered a comprehensive overview into Denmark’s strategic direction to enhance national and collective defence. Course Member Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Aiolfi from the Italian Air Force, stressed the significance of firsthand experience, stating that being in the country provided a deeper understanding of issues in comparison to studying or reading about it. He finds these Field Study trips valuable for gaining new perspectives on different nations, contributing to a better comprehension of NATO. With over 30 Member nations in the Alliance, recognizing each country's distinct positions becomes crucial for effective collaboration and negotiation, according to him.

NDC Public Affairs Office
( Prepared by Ms Sofia Carvalheiro, PRT C)