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Denmark in joint air defence proposal with neighbouring NATO countries

Saturday, 15 October 2011
Denmark's Defense Minister is proposing a defence move whereby Danish Defence will collaborate with neighbour in periods of attack. The move is to enable Denmark to make big savings in it defence spending. NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes the idea.

The essence of the proposal is that Denmark would want its neighbours to create a joint air defence force to jointly attack any country of terrorists that are trying to be hostile to Denmark.

Danish Defence Minister, Nick Haekkerup, said to the Danish daily, Politiken that in the future he would like to see a joint air defense around Denmark where several NATO neighbours will be able to intervene if an attack would be directed against Denmark.

The minister proposal that “When Russian bombers are testing the Danish air defense, or when a hijacked plane is approaching Copenhagen, it would not have to be the Danish F-16 fighter jets that will defend the Danish sovereignty and ward off terrorist threats,” writes Politiken.

Denmark's closest NATO neighbours, Germany, Holland, Norway and Poland would all work together to react to such a threat. This could save between ten and fifteen percent of Denmark's military expenditure on its own air defense according to the Danish Minister of Defence.

As such, Defense minister, Nick Haekkerup, is ready to make deals with “our neighbours about a kind of joint air defence” as part of trimming the defence and finding a savings of 10-15 percent, announced by the Government.

 "I say this not because I want to close the Air Force. But just as we are helping the Baltic States and Iceland takes care of their airspace, so we may in future share the tasks of Denmark with our neighbours, "said the Minister of Defence.

The proposal has been warmly received by the NATO Secretary, General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was Prime Minister of Denmark between 2001 and 2009. According to the newspaper, Fogh Rasmussen, called the proposal a model example of how NATO's defense might look like in the future.

The Social Democrat minister's proposal, however, has been criticized by the opposition. The Left party’s spokesman on defense policy issues, Troels Lund Poulsen sees it as a threat to Danish sovereignty.
He rejects it as an attack on the national DNA. "Danish sovereignty is the most sensitive; we can ask other countries to help us. Enforcement of sovereignty is crucial for the State, I am against, it goes too far, "Said the defence spokesman, who wants to cooperate with “our neighbours” in other defence areas.

Major Brian BrÝgger from Danish air surveillance center in Karup, emphasizes that today it is strictly forbidden for foreign military aircraft to fly into Danish airspace without an explicit approval. "Enforcement of our national sovereignty has only been done with Danish aircraft," said the major, who also refused to comment on the Minister's proposals.
By Scancomark.se Team

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