Denmark Plans Military Spending Increase, Citing Russia

Denmark Plans Military Spending Increase, Citing Russia | Offers to send 200 troops to Estonia

A significant regional power in the Middle Ages, Denmark hasn’t been much of a military power in centuries, and while a NATO member, have never been a significant contributor to the alliance’s overall military might. Pressured by the US to increase military spending, Danish military budgets as a percentage of their GDP have been steadily declining since the late 1950s.

That may be about to change, however, with new Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen saying that Denmark plans significant increases in military spending in repose to “the Russian threat.” Exactly how big these increases will be remains unknown, but Frederiksen did say the 2% of GDP level sought by Obama was “unrealistic.”

Denmark currently spends about 1.2% of its GDP on its military, which is somewhere in the ballpark of $3 billion, and it isn’t even clear what they could theoretically spend more than that on, since Denmark isn’t on bad terms with any of its neighbors.

Even if they see a “threat” from Russia, with Fredriksen citing Russian missiles in Kaliningrad as “capable of reaching Copenhagen,” there appears to be nothing they can do about it in practical terms, as importing a couple of more surplus West German tanks isn’t going to turn them into a powerhouse capable of taking on Russia in a war.

This of course is the reason why most NATO nations don’t meet the Obama-mandated 2% spending level: they don’t face any real threats, and the only thing increasing spending really does is hurt their budgets as they import a few more hand-me-downs from the big arms-making nations.

That this continues to happen at all is just for the sake of placating the bigger NATO nations, as offers like Denmark’s to send 200 ground troops to the Estonia-Russia border don’t do anything practical except make the nation’s military spend money keeping 200 people in Estonia.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • lordbaldric

    Maybe they’ll build a fleet of longships.

  • Henry Hartmann (Torpedo)

    Russia must be quaking in it’s boots.

    • Don

      A strange way of saying it but nonetheless quite true. If Russia didn’t have the military might to protect itself then it could even get you the laugh you intended to get.
      I think you only got baldric’s chuckle.

  • TonyVodvarka

    I once naively believed that the Scandinavian nations and Finland represented some of the higher forms of government and civic excellence. The past few years, I have watched in disbelief as they enthusiastically have become the tail on the dog of American militarism, participating in the cultivation of a new cold war in the Baltic region, led by Denmark, of all people. What could possibly be motivating them, bribery, blackmail, threats? Absolutely amazing.

    • RickR35

      Well said. Yup, bribery as is well known. Sacks of cash for the corrupt rulers of these countries.

  • Don

    This is another issue for which we have to look at the map to see how Russia is becoming completely surrounded. Denmark’s defense minister is buying in to the Nato scare tactics and it will be in concert with Denmark’s current government. So two things can happen:
    1. the people kick out the current government as quickly as possible.
    2. the current government stands and the scare propaganda tactics are given time to sink into the people heads. And Nato will have won again.

    My bet’s on the latter. Even if the people try to resist they will be overruled by an increase in the propaganda bombardment until they are fully indocrinated. It’s a very safe bet to suggest that the US will pump as much money into Denmark to make that work.