Denmark supports war on Iraq - why?

In this recent CSM article, it is noted that Britain, Denmark, and Poland have agreed to participate without any further action on the part of the UN.

Britain has long been the closest US ally, Poland as a poorer country and new to NATO stands to gain favor and possibly aid for its stance. But most European countries are reluctant, especially without a clear mandate from the UN.

What are the specific reasons that Denmark’s position differs from that of France, Germany, etc?

I should point out that there may be many good reasons to join such a war, sit on the fence, or oppose it. That’s GD territory, and arguing these is not the realm of this general question.

No idea about Denmark, but note that Russia is against a war and that’s probably good enough reason to be for it to most Poles.

Where’s Spiny Norman on this issue?

From talking to most of my Norwegian friends, they are firmly against the U.S. on the Iraq issue. Of course, they don’t speak for the government on this issue, and I haven’t been reading Aftenposten (the main Norwegian daily for serious news) as often as I should.

  • and as is often the case with good questions, I can only offer a poor answer. I do believe that the extent of the support is somewhat overstated.

There’s currently a workable majority in Parliament (“Folketinget”) for military action against Iraq, but only with a renewed UN mandate. This attitude seems to be reflected in the population, according to most polls.

(The current Gvt. does not hold an absolute majority, so they’re basically forced to get support from other parties in Parliament. There are currently no less than 10 parties and two MPs without party affiliation in Parliament, voting blocks can form in interesting ways.)

But apparently, the PM (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) recently said in an interview that there was technically already a UN mandate in place: Resolution 1441. That might have been where the idea started that Denmark was behind the US, no matter what.

The Danish reaction to the PMs unbridled enthusiasm was not one of undiluted joy. His own Foreign Minister (Per Stig Møller) voiced disagreement publicly. The parliamentary support - the “Danish People’s Party” (right-wing, despite the name) - made it clear that their vote was 100% dependent on a second UN mandate.

IOW, it would appear that the support is really being oversold just a tad.

That being said, there’s little doubt in my mind that the PM personally is trying hard to align himself with the UK/US axis. For one thing, he’s ideologically aligned with the idea of a somewhat reduced welfare state. Not that he can realistically modify the existing Danish system, but he can dream…

For another, he’s in a tough spot in the upcoming discussions re. the Thule radar’s upgrade to support NMD. There’s an interesting trilateral balance between Denmark, Greenland and the US. Getting on the US’ good side in these negotiations wouldn’t hurt.

And lastly, I believe he’s just a little flattered with the attention. He’s getting phonecalls from the White House, now. Doesn’t happen all that often that the leader of a country of 5.5 million people gets to chew the fat with the leader of the free world.

Add to that the Russian-Danish relations are at an all-time low, after Danish authorities refused to arrest an alleged Czechnyan rebel because Moscow delivered diddly-squat as evidence, and I guess we’re seeing how the PM decided what block to join.

I dunno. Seeing as the support is going to be 50 special force troops (“Jægerkorpset”) and a 30-year old diesel sub, it’s mostly a gesture anyway.

Denmark supports it for one simple reason:

They were invaded by the Nazi’s in WWII.

End of story.

They are actually acting on principle. Seems that when you know what a fucking madman will do you just aren’t that big of a pussy.

Just my opinion though.

Your political opinion. Take it to GD.

Here in GQ, offer up a fact or leave it be. We don’t do that political crap here.

Hmmm so you are saying that it is not a fact that the Nazi’s invaded Denmark…

I see.

Anyone else feel like giving me shit today?

SIR, NO SIR!!! :smiley:

“The free world”.

To me, and to people everywhere, this speaks volumes.

  1. It is generally agreed that President Bush is “the leader of the free world”.

  2. Almost everybody who’s ever drawn a breath would PREFER to be free, if they had a choice. (I am presenting this as a priori fact, mitigated by the word ‘almost’, rather than as political opinion. People flock to free countries such as the US from all over the world, some risking and even losing their lives to do so. There must be something to it.)

  3. So, logically, the question ought not be "Why would Denmark align with the US, but rather “Why wouldn’t they?”


But again, that’s not the question asked. The question is, “what has Denmark said about it.”

I’d like to keep this GQish, so let’s stick to quotes from Danish officials, please.

Denmark is not unusual in their support. The vote in NATO concerning aiding in Turkey’s defense was 16-3. Spain and Italy have expressed their complete support to the U.S. France, Germany and Belgium were the ones that voted against it. In an earlier vote, Luxemburg voted with the those three.