Danish gov't increases military contributions citing global instability

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-06 22:01:43|Editor: xuxin
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COPENHAGEN, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod and Defense Minister Trine Bramsen held a joint press conference on Friday in the Mirror Hall of the prime minister's office to announce the increase of the country's four military contributions.

The announcement came after a meeting of the Foreign Policy Committee on Friday.

According to Social Democrat Minister Kofod, there was "massive and broad" support by the other parties in parliament for the following four military contributions.

Firstly, Denmark will increase its contribution to the effort against the Islamic State (IS). The country will send a 14-member team including doctors, nurses, therapists and support staff to provide advanced trauma and medical care to a coalition base in northeastern Syria.

Frederiksen and Bramsen (both Social Democrats) said the experience would be invaluable and the contribution is greatly sought by the partners in the international coalition.

Secondly, Denmark will increase its contribution to NATO forces.

"The threat from the outside is serious," said Frederiksen. "Therefore, Denmark will make a significant contingency contribution to NATO's new defense forces."

Denmark will send a combat battalion, approximately 700 persons, a larger warship with approximately 170 persons, and four fighter aircraft with support personnel.

Thirdly, Denmark will increase its contributions to an aircraft carrier group.

The country will provide a naval grant in the form of a frigate with approximately 150 people to support a U.S. aircraft carrier group for three months in the north Atlantic and the Mediterranean.

"This is done to strengthen maritime security, but also to build even stronger operational and close cooperation in the U.S.," Bramsen told the press.

Fourthly, Denmark will increase its contribution to action in Africa.

The country will send a staff contribution of 10 to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission in Mali. They will act as the "UN's eyes and ears" there.

One or two staff officers will be sent to the French-led anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region.

Bramsen also announced the contribution of a transport aircraft with up to 65 persons from November and two transport helicopters with up to 70 persons.

The Sahel is "a very troubled region that is a hotbed of terror, radicalization, extremism and the routes to illegal migration. All of this is something that could threaten Denmark," said the Danish prime minister.

The government also hinted at a fifth contribution: it is looking at a possible naval contribution to an international maritime effort in the Strait of Hormuz.

According to the prime minister, there is continuing dialogue with a number of European countries with regard to this latter contribution.

Frederiksen justified the increases by citing the unstable situation in the Middle East, a more aggressive Russia, the Arctic, where competition between the major powers is increasing, as well as the situation in Africa and the flows of illegal migrants as the reason for the increase in Denmark's contributions.