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05. March 2015



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The Danish Defence Agreement 2005 - 2009 

The Liberals, the Conservatives, the Social Democrats, the Danish People Party, the Social Liberals and the Christian Democrats have entered into the following agreement for the Danish Defence.

The Danish Defence is an important factor in working towards the realisation of the foremost goals of the Danish foreign- and security policy, namely democracy, freedom and human rights.

The goals of the Danish Defence are the following:

1) to counter direct and indirect threats to the security of Denmark and allied countries,
2) to maintain Danish sovereignty and the protection of Danish citizens,
3) to work towards international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, specifically through conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and humanitarian operations.

Changes in the international security environment require the Danish Defence to strengthen its capacities in two central areas:

1) Internationally deployable military capacities and
2) the ability to counter terror acts and their consequences.

The United Nations is the framework of the efforts to create international order. In recent years the UN has developed a more effective capacity to engage in peace supporting operations and this development should be supported. At the same time the ability of the UN, as well as the ability of regional organisations, to prevent and resolve conflicts, among other places in Africa, should be strengthened.

The political parties behind the Defence Agreement agree that NATO is the central forum for joint security – and defence cooperation. The collective defence remains strongly anchored within NATO. NATO is the framework of the transatlantic partnership and a guarantor of European security. Denmark will continue to contribute to NATO, including the NATO Response Force.

The Danish Defence will contribute with ready, well-equipped and effective forces for international operations, as well as a strengthened coordination between the military and the civilian humanitarian effort in the area of operations.

Furthermore, in the case of the Danish opt-out with regard to the EU defence policy possibly being removed in the future, Denmark will be able to participate in the EU efforts within peacemaking, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, humanitarian operations and the strengthening of international security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

The political parties agree that the structure and capacity of the Danish Defence during 2005-2009 should be organised in a way that will ensure that Denmark, in the event of a possible removal of the opt-out, will be immediately able to contribute to future European defence initiatives, including combating terrorism, preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and peace supporting operations with force contributions from both the EU and NATO.

The current security environment, including the enlargement of NATO and the EU, is of such a nature that the conventional military threat to the Danish territory has ceased for the foreseeable future. There is no longer a need for the conventional territorial defence of the Cold War.
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and subsequent terrorist attacks have demonstrated that the security challenges and risks confronting Denmark and other nations have significantly changed. New asymmetric and unpredictable threats such as international terrorism and the spreading of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery have entered the scene.

The threats do not necessarily have to originate from Denmark’s geographical proximity, but may nevertheless constitute a risk to Denmark, our allies and our common values, even if they manifest themselves abroad. Accordingly, the priority of  Danish security policy should be aimed at possessing the capability to counter the threats where they emerge, regardless of whether this is within or beyond Denmark’s borders. Therefore, Danish Defence – together with other national components – should focus on strengthening the total defence of Denmark and its population and on ensuring Denmark’s capability to participate in international operations.

The unpredictable aspect of the threats means that organising Danish Defence to counter a well-defined threat scenario is no longer possible. Therefore the Danish Defence should be organised according to a capacity-based approach whereby a wide range of capacities can be made available in situations in which Danish security or Danish interests are threatened or affected, directly or indirectly, or where Danish responsibilities within the international community make this necessary.  The unpredictable nature of the threats demands a higher priority on military readiness and the capability to deploy military capacities wherever they are needed, regardless of whether this involves humanitarian efforts, peacekeeping operations, emergency situations in or outside Denmark, or participation in regular military operations.

Total Defence
In general, total defence encompasses the utilisation of all resources in order to maintain an organised, functional society and to protect the population and the national assets.

The threats to be countered by total defence cut across national borders and the domestic administrative domains of various public authorities. As a result, threat containment demands joint solutions and close coordination among the accountable international and national authorities.

One of the benefits for Danish society, from Danish Defence’s previous conscript training for the mobilisation-based combat force, is that many persons were trained as conscripts in several disciplines that have now become increasingly relevant. This applies to fields such as surveillance, first aid, emergency response and defensive measures to counter atomic, biological and chemical weapons, etc. In the current situation, other parts of  the conventional conscript training for territorial defence has lost much of its relevance, but personnel are still needed to enable Danish Defence to contribute to total defence. The compulsory military service, as stipulated in Article 81 of the Danish Constitution, should therefore be adjusted accordingly.

In other regards, total defence is to be strengthened to the greatest possible extent by integration of national emergency response effort and Danish Defence, in a structure that ensures synergy and simplification. Comparably, the Home Guard is to be integrated into the operational and support structures of Danish Defence – without sacrificing its identity.

In addition, total defence is to be bolstered by establishing a total defence force comprising some 12,000 soldiers who have completed a relevant 700-hour training programme over a four-month period. Within the first three years following completion of the initial joint military training programme, this force shall be at the disposal of Danish Defence for performing total defence tasks for the Danish community, provided that the capabilities of the standing forces of Danish Defence, the national emergency management effort and the Home Guard are insufficient. Total defence force thereby ensures that Denmark has sufficient available capacity to contain threats against the country and to handle large-scale catastrophes. 

The needs of the Danish Defence are directly proportionate with the numbers of young people that are called upon to do military service. All young men are required to attend “The Day of the Danish Defence” and all young women are invited to attend it. On this day the Danish Defence introduces itself, presents career opportunities and distributes relevant information. On the basis of this day of presentation and orientation of the Danish Defence the participants then inform the Defence whether they would like to volunteer to do conscription or whether they are interested in another form of employment with the Danish Defence. Subsequently the Defence draws up a contract for voluntary army training and also decides the number of conscripts needed. Finally the suitability of individuals - conscripts as well as volunteers – for army services is evaluated.

Payment as well as other benefits for conscripts will be raised compared to the present pay during the first four months of conscription.

Compulsory military service, including questions on numbers, duration and content, will be evaluated at the end of 2006.

International Missions
The armed forces are to be reorganised and developed. Together with Denmark’s allies, Danish Defence must be able to participate effectively in high intensity operations under often difficult and unstable conditions; accordingly, the means must be obtained for stabilising actual areas of conflict and for rapidly deploying the forces in such areas. By so doing, Danish Defence can and should have a much greater capability than before to participate in peace-support operations, e.g., conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peace-making, humanitarian and other similar missions.

The military effort must be planned in coordination with other Danish endeavours to obtain maximum effect of the overall effort and fortify Denmark’s capacity to shoulder responsibility. The relevant organisations should be gathered as early as possible to prepare the deployment of Danish military contingents, which would enable the definition of any relevant civilian stabilisation efforts in the sphere of military operations from the outset. A focused effort and mutual exploitation of military and civilian experience in this context would make it possible to get better results and thus – other things being equal – also reduce the need for a military presence.

In the joint opinion of the parties, the recent and foreseeable developments of security policy make it possible to disband the mobilisation defence in order to strengthen the capability of Danish Defence both to contribute to total defence, including the capability to contain terrorist actions and impact, and to deploy well-trained, well-equipped units in international missions. It must be possible to deploy Denmark’s armed forces both at home and abroad, whereby the defence of Denmark, in co-operation with Denmark’s allies, will obviously be the overriding task if the need arises.

Other Issues
Danish Defence is to be reorganised by streamlining and trimming the staff and support structure for the benefit of the operational capacities. Centralising the administration of personnel, material and establishments, etc., will reduce administration for the Defence Command, the Royal Administration of Navigation and Hydrography, the Home Guard Command, the Defence Construction Service, the operational commands and subordinate authorities, including regiments, air bases, naval bases, schools, etc. The modifications will shift the current balance between the staff and support structure and the operational commands in favour of operational capacities.
The parties of the accord note that steps have been taken to outsource Danish Defence’s ITC operations. The parties agree that the institutions and authorities of the Ministry of Defence must continue to be managed as efficiently as possible. A result of the Ministry’s efficiency engineering strategy is that all operating tasks will be reviewed to assess their outsourcing suitability. As a result, focus will be brought to bear on the unexploited outsourcing potential and thereby exploit the market competition to increase the efficiency and quality in the performance of operating assignments.

In summary:

  • Danish Defence will be reorganised to provide operational capacities and to release resources that enable Danish Defence to mobilise and deploy forces promptly and flexibly in international operations and to maintain deployed capacities that are the equivalent of some 2,000 personnel (1500 from the Army and 500 from the Navy and Air Force).
  • The current mobilisation defence and affiliated structure are to be disbanded. The remaining staff and support structures are to be streamlined and trimmed to meet the precise needs for supporting the operational units, including total defence and other domestic task performance. 
  • The tasks of the national emergency management effort, the Home Guard and the Ministry of Defence are to be gathered under the sphere of the Minister of Defence. 
  • The present compulsory military service scheme under the Ministry of Defence is to be reorganised and targeted on total defence. At the same time, this compulsory military service scheme will form the basis of military recruitment of anyone who wishes to contribute to embedding Danish Defence in the Danish community. 
  • The total number of operational units is to be reduced in return for a focused and qualitative reinforcement of the remaining units. 
  • Several military barracks and establishments are to be closed. 
  • Financial resources will be released for deploying Danish military contingents in international operations.