Too Much Civilization of Danish Military Harms its Ability to Deploy Soldiers Abroad?



Danish Foreign policy has been named “military activism”[2] since the end of the Cold War period due to its increased military engagement in conflicts around the world. This military activism is a major aspect of our foreign policy and is identified in the declared strategy of the Danish Defence and reflected in the time, type and size of deployments of Danish soldiers abroad. As it is argued that military activism demands military professionalization or efficiency, not increased civilization, six basic components of the Danish military are analysed in that respect to see to what extent it has pursued the strategy of military activism. The six components are the personnel composition of the Danish military from 1970 to 2016, or more precisely in the years 1970, 1990, 2010, and 2016, military expenditures, the location of military installations, the functions of the chief of defence, the newly established recruitment and education policy of officer cadets, and finally the retention policy. Based on these findings future deployments problems abroad are predicted. The premise for the identification of future deployment problems is the distinction between a more military or civilian approach and that military activism demands military professionalism or efficiency otherwise Danish soldiers cannot cope in in lethal conflicts around the world.




Danish Foreign Policy since WWII


There is great consistency between the declared Danish foreign policy and the declared defence policy since WWII. Three phases of the Danish defence policy after WWII can be identified[3]. In the Cold War period, Denmark pursued a symbolic virtual warlike security policy (although in a softer version during the 1980s). In the post-Cold War up until 9/11-2001, Danish security policy manifested itself in participation in military actions legitimized by international organizations such as the UN, the EU, NATO and the OSCE. After 2001, the foreign policy evolved even further and let us engage in sheer wars, in particular in Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes without the acceptance of the UN Security Council.




Danish Defence Policy since WW II


Denmark´s military strategy followed accordingly. First, as a “defensive, non-provocative actor” in the Cold War era[4], then as a “civilian/military offensive actor”in the post-Cold War period, and since 9/11 as a “strategic offensive actor”[5]. The defence policy since 2001 rests on the argument that after 9/11, the Western world is at war against rogue states harbouring terrorists and developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or deploying terrorists to harm innocent citizens. As a “strategic offensive actor” Denmark recognized the need for Danish soldiers to fight hostile forces internationally[6]even at the cost of Danish soldiers returning home in body bags. In the two last periods, the Danish defence had/has two tasks: “Total defence”or homeland defence and “internationally deployable military capacities”[7] as identified in the Defence Agreements of 2005-2009,[8]of 2010 – 2012[9], and of 2013-2017[10]. They repeatedly underline this defence policy of offering deployment capacities.


The Time, Type and Size of Danish Soldiers deployed abroad


Two angles illustrate here the considerable volume of deployed Danish soldiers. First, the time, type, and size of deployments since 1948, cf. table 1 below. Second, the number of deployments 1992 – 2009


Table 1. Major Danish Military Deployments, 1948 – 2016 (2014)[11]


No. Operation/Service




Conflict intensity

Deployed soldiers/ dead

1. Army

1948  ->





2. Army

1956 – 1967





3. Army

1960 – 1964





4. Army

1964 – 1994





5. Navy

1990 – 1991




(350 – 500)

6. Army

1992 – 2003





7. Army

1999 – 2009

Balkan, Kosovo




8. Army

2000 - 2001





9. Army/Air Force

2003 - (2014)


ISAF/Enduring Freedom


   8.600         43

10. Army

2003 – (2007)




   5.500           6

11. Army






12. Army

2009 – 2011





13. Air Force



Unified Protector



14. Army/Air Force






15. Air Force



Inherent Resolve



16. Navy/Air Force


The Aden Bay

Ocean Shield



17. Air Force



Allied Force



18. Army/Air Force



Resolute Support



19. Navy






20. Army/Air Force

2016 (2014)

Iraq + Syria[12]

Inherent Resolve




Table 2 allows for more observations. The Danish Army has, in particular, sent soldiers abroad, then the Navy and the Air Force[13]. The bulk of deployments took place from 2003 and a decade ahead. In 1970, only a few Danish soldiers were deployed abroad. The deployment issue for Denmark was the other way around. UK and US soldiers should come to our reinforcement in case of a USSR/Warsaw attack. In 1990, the most spectacular deployment was the navy vessel, Olfert Fischer. From 1948 to 1990, most deployments were UN missions and low intensity conflicts, (= less lethal for Danish soldiers) than the later ones. In the decade of the 2000s, Denmark deployed soldiers abroad for a longer period of time (= over 12 months). In this period, Denmark had its most demanding missions, i.e. operation no 6 (Balkan), 9 (Afghanistan), and 10 (Iraq). After 2010, more short-term missions have been established.


Thus, Danish soldiers´ deployment abroad after mission type: Short – long term and low - high intensity/risk is shown in table 2.


Table 2. Danish Deployments Abroad After Destination, Time and Intensity



           Time of Deployment

Conflict type



   Low intensive

14. Mali, air bombing                                A                                                           



1.   Israel, observers                           B

2.   Gaza                                            

3.   Congo

4.   Cyprus

12. Lebanon

   High intensive

5.   The Gulf, Olfert Fischer                       D

8.   Eritrea, coordinate UN troops

11. Sudan, SHIBRIG

13. Libya, air bombing

15. Iraq, air bombing

17. Serbia, air bombing

18. Iraq, air bombing

19. Syria, naval transport chemical weapons

20. Iraq + Syria, Air Force

6.   Balkan, (IFOR, SFOR, KFOR)           C

7.   Kosovo

9.   Afghanistan (ISAF)

10. Iraq (DANCON)

16. Africa´s Horn, Pirate interceptions



Table 2 shows that in the beginning of Danish deployments abroad, Denmark participated in UN-led, low-intensity missions, box B. In the 2000s,  Denmark deployed soldiers mostly participated in long-term high intensity military missions, box C. Danish soldiers´ present engagement is in short-term, high-intensity conflicts, box D. Thus, the deployments over time is a move from box B, via box C, and to box D. Box D-deployments are more costly than C-deployments as any new mission demands both investments and maintenance. The Defence Commission of 2008 suggested this double deployment, C and D[14], at the same time. Danish soldiers are called for a new type of deployment: To join the NATO Reaction Force to assist other NATO countries, for instance the Baltic nations neighbouring Russia[15]. Danish military deployments may move “from deploy to prepare” missions[16].




Another way of describing the Danish military activism is to calculate the number of deployments, not of deployed Danish soldiers, for 1992 – 2009[17]. Then, we get a more fluctuated impression of the volume of deployed Danish soldiers. In 1992, 1,400 deployments took place to the Balkan. In 1993, this figure doubled to 2,700 after which it gradually fall to around 1,700 in 1998. From 1999 to 2005, 3,000 yearly deployments were accomplished, in particular to Iraq. From 2006 to 2009, the number of deployments grew by 50% to around 4,500, mostly for Afghanistan, as Denmark stopped its military presence in Iraq by 2007. Today, the number is below 700, cf. table 1 above. This fluctuation differs from both the stable number of deployed soldiers all over the world and of number of multiple peace operations from 2001 to 2010. Around 130,000 soldiers have in this decade yearly been deployed in some 50 operations conducted at 33 locations[18] excluding the ISAF operation in Afghanistan conducted by NATO[19]. To conclude, Danish defence has managed to deploy soldiers abroad and thereby demonstrated military efficiency[20]and will continue to do so[21].


The Need for Military Professionalization


The Danish deployment performances so far raise the question: Can Danish Armed Forces still deliver or asked in another way: What factors within the Danish Armed Forces can be a problem for future deployments? To managethe defence policy of military activism, Danish defence has to increase its military professionalization to wage wars or control conflicts abroad even more so in times of reduction in the military budgets. Danish military can only be “leaner, but meaner” and still deploy soldiers abroad if its structure and policy “is marked by a primary concentration of men and material on winning objectives of power with the utmost efficiency, that is, with the least expenditure of blood and treasure”[22]. The “military way” has two poles: “Militarism” and civilization. The pole of “militarism” “ranks military institutions and ways above the way of civilian life”[23]. The distinction “…the military way and the militaristic way are two separate and distinct aspects of the use of men and materials…”[24]The pole of civilization happens if the military – told by politicians or top brass-decided – uses civilian solutions to military problems. It may harm military professionalization or efficiency. Six important components for the Danish Armed Forces are analysed to track changes in the military and civilian balance over the last half century: The personnel composition of the Armed Forces, military expenditures, number of military installations and their locations, the functions of the Chief of Defence, the newly established recruitment policy of officer cadets and the retention policy. All six parameters indicate an answer the above-mentioned question.




1. Personnel Composition


The personnel composition of the Danish Defence is the first component to evaluate “military professionalization” over time, cf. table 3 below.








Table 3.   Personnel Composition, Military Expenditures, Cost and Number of


               Deployed Danish Soldiers Abroad and Number of Military Garrisons


               in Denmark. 1970 – 2016[25])






      Jan 1, 2016





































All military























Officers+NCOs/All personnel

33 %

51 %

66 %

75 %

Population in 1.000





All personnel pr. 1 mio citizens





Def. Expenditures bill. DKK





Def. Expenditures/GNP mio. DKK






Military locations





Def. expenditures for soldiers abroad mio. DKK









Number of Danish soldiers deployed abroad








Functions of Chief of Defence, full command


49 functions: Economy, press material, operation

personnel, IT, etc.



7 functions:

Strategic Adviser

Operation, chief of Defence staff




Table 3 confirms the increased military professionalization of the Armed Forces´ personnel with relatively more professional soldiers, i.e. officers and NCOs, to conscripts and civilians. All four personnel categories have numerically dropped, but their mutual relationship has changed. Today, the Officer and NCO group account for 3/4 of all personnel in the Danish military. In 1970, they only represented one third. In contrast, in 1970, 44 % of all defence employees were conscripts, now it is 11%. The number of conscripts dropped due to fewer drafted young men (and women on a voluntarily basis) and a shorter conscription period of only four months. Therefore, Denmark can claim both to preserve conscription (important for political/democratic reasons) and to maintain military efficiency as 75 % of all employees are professional soldiers and as more than 95 % of all draftees are volunteers. The increased military professionalization of the Danish Armed Forces is even more significant compared to the over-all reduction of Defence personnel to the number of Danish citizens from 11,000 in 1970 to 3,500 in 2016, cf. table 3. In short, the personnel composition over time lives up to the “leaner, but meaner” statement[26]and documents the increased military professionalization.




2. Military Expenditures


Table 3 also illustrates the development of the defence expenditures to Gross National Product, GNP 1970 - 2016. In 1970, they were 2,4 %, today it is half that size with 1,2%. In particular, the latest reductions in the over-all military expenditures from 2014 to 2017 with 2,7 billion DKK or 15 % is striking[27] even if it happened after an increase in military budgets over the previous period 2010 – 2014 with 3,5 billion DKK[28]. However, expenditures for military operations abroad are mostly excluded from these savings. Thereby Danish politicians have demonstrated respect for the military professionalization: To do a proper job abroad, you need sufficient military material and personnel.






3. Re-Location of the Armed Forces´ Installations


Table 3 shows the number of “military locations” (=any military building) in Denmark, excluding those at Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It has dropped from 641 in 1990 (more precisely in 1989) to 275 in 2016 or by 57%[29]. The NCO trade union, CS, registers the same tendency. In 1970, it had members serving at 61 locations, today at only 30 military facilities[30]. The reduction of locations is a result of Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 – 2017, mentioned above, where a majority of military service locations either changed identity, or closed down, and/or the buildings sold for civilian purposes.




At the same time of this reduction, a re-location of military installations from the eastern part of Denmark (Zealand with the capital of Copenhagen and Funen, etc.) to the western part (Jutland) took place. In 1970, 44 % of all military locations were located in Jutland, today 54%. Even more significantly is the export of jobs in the same direction. In particular, jobs of the two blue services, Navy and Air Force, and the operation staffs of all three services. The reduction of military installations on Zealand, Funen, etc. and their re-location in Jutland indicates neither civilianization nor military professionalization. On the other hand, the concentration of military facilities, in general, and the three staffs, in particular, at the same area in Jutland may constitute increased military professionalization. Even if so, one may argue that the concentration and re-location has taken place at a lower degree (50%) and at a slower pace than that of the downsizing of personnel and costs[31]. The politicians are to blame for the slow reduction of military buildings, etc. In particular, if compared to the fast reductions in personnel and expenditures. On the other hand, the military leadership are not promoting the closedown of barracks, regiments, etc. Still, politicians increase military efficiency by military savings and the slow abandonment of military installations[32].




4. The Functions of the Chief of Defence


Before WWII and until 1950, the Danish military management was divided and decentralized[33]with the Army and the Navy independently governing their own service with the minister of defence as an integrating ministry. The Defence Law in 1950 gave the chief of defence a central position as responsible for the armed forces in war and in peace under the defence department. In 1952, a new NATO command structure gave the responsibility for the Danish military in war to a combined NATO post. Nevertheless, the Defence law of 1969 and 1973 maintained the centralization of military affairs under the chief of defence with 49 different functions to govern, cf. table 3. The Defence law of 2014 left him with just seven and he may not even be an officer[34]. Thus, the Danish Chief of Staff seems a figurehead and it erodes his international respect and room for manoeuvring. Instead, a new position as CEO placed directly beneath the Ministry of Defence now manages personnel, economy, material purchase, etc. This reduction is, in my perspective, a result of the disrespect by former chiefs of defence of the democratic control of the armed forces in a number of cases[35]. They found military considerations more important than the civilian, democratic ones, i.e. militarism. This, politicians disapproved of and therefore they decided to reduce the functions of the chiefs of defence at the disfavour of the military professionalization.




5. The Recruitment and Education Policy of Danish Officers


A new recruitment policy for officers has started in 2016[36]. Now, three entrances are available to become an officer in Denmark. The internal, traditional one through a cadet academy for suitable NCOs. Another internal, is for NCO artisans to upgrade their technical skills to an academic level while serving. The politicians expect “2/3 of the specifically suitable from the NCO-group to be recruited for the new officer education”[37]. The third, new and external entrance is for bachelors from a civil university to start with two months of basic military training and then pursue 28 months at the military academy. Here, politicians expect “1/3 of all accepted applicants…to have a civilian bachelor education as their background”[38]. The political interference in the officer education is greater than normally seen for civil educations.  Politicians want not only to save money[39] they want to “civilize” officers.




This civilization goes even deeper in the new officer education. The military education period is now reduced from 47-65 months to just 28 months or with around 50%. On top of that, most Western military academies have already experienced increased civilization at the academies[40]. Previously, the military leadership did oppose educational changes[41]. Only a few officers have publicly criticized the new education system[42]. In contrast, the Danish Chief of Defence, Peter Bartram, has supported the agreement to the outside world[43]. To conclude, both recruitment and education of officers favour increased civilization at the costs of military professionalization and previously the Defence Command had the will and the right to criticize civilianization of the officer education, now it is silent or adapt. 




6. The Retention Policy


Retention of armed forces personnel happens due to health or age. Forsvarets sundhedstjeneste (the Heath Service of the Defence) tests yearly the physical health of every employee, in general, and with respect to his/her “deployment-abroad” capabilities. A fit-for-fight and a dentist report for each employee is issued, as well. The test results declare every employee either “fit”, “unfit”, or “contemporarily fit”. If unfit, the chief of the employee can fire him/her. At the same time, the military has established a senior policy to maintain valuable armed forces employees with “attractive arrangements”[44]such as better pay, shorter worktime, and/or other individually designed conditions.   




The retention policy of armed forces employees due to age is that they retire 5 years earlier (at the age of 60) than other civil servants do (at the age of 65)[45]. However, the retirement age for both groups is meant to increase successively due to the prolonged life expectancy. If so, Danes born after January 1973[46] may retire at the age of 70 years, officers at 65. The specific retirement age is for the military trade unions and the department of defence later to negotiate.  




The physical tests, the lower retirement age for armed forces personnel to that of all Danes, and individually negotiated arrangements for valuable personnel (senior-policy) expose military professionalization. Even more so do further steps taken by the Danish military organization. In 2015, it discharged an officer with the health test result “permanently unfit”, as he no longer was deployable to international missions in spite of sufficient health to serve all right in Denmark[47]. The trade union for Danish officers, HOD, has however summoned the Defence organization for the discharge. This case proves the will of the military system to increase military efficiency, even at the cost of less goodwill among professional soldiers[48]. Another example of a more flexible retention policy is the abandonment of 530 officer positions since 2011[49] even if more than 2,300 positions were vacant[50]. So, with no interference from the political field, the Danish military does pursue the idea of increased efficiency.  




6. Deployment Problems Ahead?


The major deployments abroad of the Danish military proves its military professionalization and efficiency. Of the six components here analysed, the personnel composition, the reduced defence budgets, the re-location of military installations, and the retention policy have contributed. On the other hand, the civilization of the officer recruitment and education, and the massive reduction of functions of the Chief of Defence and the establishment of a combined Command do harm the military professionalization and efficiency. Therefore, future deployment problems are most certainly to occur here, i.e. within the structure and function of the military organization/chief of defence and the recruitment/education policy specifically influenced by politicians.




The new military organization may harm military efficiency two ways. The amputation of the previous all-over responsibility of the chief of defence will decrease military efficiency and even worse, the unified Defence Command of the three services “weakens the defence skill as professionalism in the army, navy and the air force are not identical services”[51].  




Another area of future deployment problems is recruitment. The internal recruitment entrance has only received half the number of expected applications[52]. The shortage of applicants is even bigger, as “…for each company deployed abroad for six months every third year you need six identical companies back home”[53].The external, bachelor entrance implies deployment problems, as well. Either because bachelors - with their more theoretical and civilian education - may be “paper officers” and lack the military “nerve” or because they – after a good leadership education within the military - will leave it for a better-paid civilian job.




Besides, the re-location of military installations has inbuilt recruitment problems, as well. Fewer young men (and women) from eastern parts of Denmark will apply for an officer career as they have to go Jutland for a military job - after the Cadet school education in the capital of Copenhagen as their spouses  may reject to follow and thus give up their occupations[54]:“A majority of officers…will choose geographical stability to vertical career”.




On the other hand, one can argue that the recruitment policy within the Danish Defence is now more open and flexible than before including a more decentralized manning system where all military positions are open for all soldiers, in principle. It will improve mobility within the military organization and increase its efficiency as your actual performance now decides your career, not your previous position. However, the new manning system is not always voluntary. The Defence system has sometimes ordered officers/NCOs to apply for a position creating frustration among professional soldiers[55]. Again, it may seem unfair, but it may be necessary for the cause of military efficiency. If so, then one might ask if the new recruitment policy can solve the problems of “new blood into the military” in the future.




However, personnel shortages in connection to deployments abroad have existed for years. In 1992, even before major deployments of soldiers took place, shortage of specialists for international missions was recognized[56]. In 2008, in the middle of a major deployment activity personnel shortage, in general, was identified[57]. In September 2009, the Statsrevisorerne (the equivalent of the GAO of the US) supervising the Danish Defence in general and in Afghanistan, in particular, found personnel deployment problems, as well[58]. It is still the case according to the March 2013 Report of the same committee[59]. Right now, a calculation made by the military trade union of NCOs, CS, shows that the Army has 6,664 jobs of which only 6,176 are manned by September 2015 and even fewer, 6,035 by January 2016[60]. The officers´ trade union, HOD, identifies a shortage of more than 600 officers[61]. On top of this, the efficient retention policy of discharging personnel if “unfit” for deployment abroad reduces the deployable group of soldiers. Consequently, fewer soldiers will more often be sent abroad.




One might imagine that more female soldiers could help. It is not the case. In 2010, of all soldiers deployed 17 % were women, but only 175 (on a full year basis it is about half the number or 80 persons) or only 7 % served in Afghanistan[62].




A recent example of the lack of the military leadership to react on personnel shortage is instructive. In 2015, a specific personnel shortage problem appeared for airplane mechanics deployed in Iraq. Already in the 2008-Defence Committee report, this lack was identified[63]. In January 2015, the deployed airplane mechanics tried to draw the attention of their military chiefs to the fact that their deployment period was about to end. Nothing happened. In April, the military and political leadership continued to ignore the deployment problem. Instead, they expressed their will to prolong deployment of the mechanics. In June, all 14 shop stewards of the mechanics group wrote to the leader of each of the Danish political parties. Nothing happened. In July, a Danish newspaper presented the problem on the front page. Then, the mechanics were withdrawn in August as scheduled and with them, all Danish crews of pilots, planes, gear, and logistic personnel[64]. However, the military leadership has initiated an upgrading of potential fly mechanics through a one-year further education in order to help solving the shortage problem[65].






The first conclusion is that the question raised in the beginning of the article implies a mixed answer. On the one hand, the retention policy does reflect military efficiency and support a continued foreign policy off military activism. On the other hand, the recruitment and education policy – in details decided by politicians – weakens military professionalization due to the broader population of applicants (bachelors) and the reduction of time spent at military academies learning absorbing military topics.




The second conclusion is that the military leadership has documented military professionalization with its massive deployments abroad, in particular in the 2000s. At the same time, it has also demonstrated inability to solve lasting personnel shortage problems. With due diligence, these foreseeable problems should have been solved. This inefficiency, add to the growing group of sceptical officers[66].


The third conclusion is that besides recruitment problems, the organizational changes may create problems for future deployments due to the united Defence Command and the watering down of the functions of the Chief of Defence. If so, the military leadership is to blame. For more good reasons. However, one shall not forget that most of the deployment problems ahead are related to the areas decided by politicians: Recruitment/ education, erosion of the functions of the chief of defence, and the united Defence Command.




What went wrong? Three tentative answers. First, in the history of Western democratic nations, the military has moved between the two poles, militarism and civilization to stay within “military way”. Most of these nations have established institutes or hired scholars for the research and education of the sociology of the military to help the armed forces to improve military professionalization and, at the same time, to cope with the “civil, democratic control of the military”. Unfortunately, not Denmark. Thus, military sociology has never been thaught at the military academies/Defence College. It is a pity that the military leadership has ignored this research. I dare argue that the many militarism examples mentioned in note 35 would never have occured if military sociology, and, in particular, lessons of “civil, democratic control of the military” had been included in the curriculum at the military academies. Moreover, after having witnessed many examples of Danish military top-officers´ ignoring or eroding “civil, democratic control of the military” I have written about and against it[67]. In vain and now, it is too late. The Danish Chief of Defence is now marginalized at the cost of less military professionalization. Some may argue it is well deserved, others wil regret the changes towards civilization.


Second, instead of establishing the sociology of the military at schools and academies the Danish military has pursued another research profile. Research on the military takes place at three levels: 1) Military Psychology that helps MJ Petersen to govern private/conscript Jensen. 2) Military Sociology that helps society to govern the armed forces. 3) Military Politology that helps Denmark to govern the world. In Denmark, we have now around 50 military psychologists, less than 5 independent military sociologists, and around 500 military politiologists. Many of the military politologists are financed over the defence budget: the Defence College, Danmarks Institut for Internationale  Studier, DIIS, and Center for Militære Studier, CMS, at the University of Copenhagen. They are not specifically efficient in helping Danish Armed Forces abroad. They do not investigate the military operations as such. Let me give an example. In Afghanistan, Denmark has lost 43 soldiers, nine of which died in the month of March. It is 21 % of all killed Danish soldiers. This death pattern is not found for the UK and the US. How come, we don´t know. We only know that the Danish armed forces have (used) no resources to investigate it.  




Third, maybe the Danish top-officers have chosen Samuel P. Huntington´s road for an efficient military: Keep the politicians out of the management of the military and leave it to the professional soldiers[68](“objective control”). However, if the top-officers do not respect the “civil, democratic control of the military” then the idea and control is obsolete. Thus, three years after SPHs publication in 1957, Morris Janowitz suggested the professional soldier to adapt to the changes in society[69] (“subjective control”). However, Janowitz stressed that there are limits for the civilization if the armed forces are to be militarily efficient. This limit is now reached in Denmark.[70]Therefore, Danish politicians should ask themselves if the massive civilization influence forced upon the military is eroding the military professionalization and efficiency, creating future deployment problems, and making the Danish Armed Forces less effective on the battlefield.


Henning Sørensen


April 30, 2016




[1]Thanks to Helle Kolding, CS, and Vickie Lind, HOD, for valuable facts, corrections and comments. I am alone responsible for any shortcomings.

[2] See for instance or Bertel Heurlin, Global, Regional, and National Security, (København: Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS, 2001), Chapter 8; or Steen Rynning, “Danish Security Policy after September 11,”, in Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2003, p 24; or Jørgen Grønnegaard Christensen & Nikolaj Petersen, Managing Foreign Affairs: A Comparative Perspective, (København: Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS, 2005), p 10



[4]Heurlin, (2001), op.cit.,

[5]Rynning (2003), op.cit.

[6]Rynning (2003), op.cit., p 24

[7]The Danish Defence Agreement 2005 – 2009 (quotations from the official web page):”Changes in the international security environment require the Danish Defence to strengthen its capacities in two central areas: 1) International deployable military capacities and 2) the ability to counter terror acts and their consequences”, p 1.

[8]The Danish Defence Agreement 2005 – 2009, p 4: The Danish Armed Forces had to deliver “…a much greater capability than before to participate in peace-support operations…and to release resources that enable Danish Defence to mobilize and deploy forces promptly and flexibly in international operations and to maintain deployed capacities that are the equivalent of some 2,000 personnel (1,500 from the Army and 500 from the Navy and the Air Force)”.

[9] Forsvarskommandoen (Defence Command), Årsrapport 2012 (Annual Report 2012), (København), 86pp, here p 65

[10]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 – 2017 (Political Agreement 2013 – 2017) (Nov 30, 2012), 44pp. Deployment mentioned repeatedly, see just p 1:”The defence shall still have the capacity to deploy abroad more and greater contributions”; “improve the defence in two respects: The international deployment capacities and the ability to countermeasure terror actions and their effects”; ”the Defence are continuously organized to contribute with rearmed and well-educated units for all types of international missions”

[12]B 8 2016 Vedtaget Forslag (November 10, 2015) til folketingsbeslutning om udsendelse af et supplerende dansk militært bidrag til støtte for indsatsen mod ISIL (Passed bill on a further deployed Danish military capacity in support of the fight against ISIL), http://

[13] According to Danish Wikipedia the Army has participated in 10 international mission, the Navy in 14, and the Air Force in 8 from 1960 - 2014 see   

[14]Beretning fra Forsvarskommissionen (Report from the Defence Commission), Enclosure vol. 2:“ Dansk forsvar. Globalt engagement”, 553 pp, here p 421:” is demanded that the (Danish) defence can handle operations both for longer periods and periodical with high intensity”.    

[15]Forsvarsavisen  (Defence paper), 2.2016:4-6. Minister of Defence, Peter Christensen, “I am impressed over the Armed Forces”, in “The Defence Paper” “(“:”…we shall extend the Danish military to contribute more to NATO´s fast Reaction Force.” 

[16] CS-Bladet No. 2.2014, p 24: “Hærens nye opgaver” (“The New Tasks of the Army”)

[17] SFI, Det nationale Forskningscenter for Velfærd, Danish Soldiers After Deployment, (København, 2012) 40 pp, here p 8 -9

[18] Sipri Yearbook 2011, (Stockholm, 2011), Appendix 3A. Multilateral peace operations 2010.

[19] From 2009 to 2010, the troop level in Afghanistan rose from 84,000 to 132,000 soldiers or with 57 %.

[20]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 - 2017, op. cit., p 4:“The efficiency-initiatives of the military shall not influence the future operative capacities (abroad) of the Danish Defence”.

[21]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 - 2017, op. cit., p 6: “All in all, The (Danish) Defence (shall) maintain…its capacity for international operations in the future agreement period” (2014-2017)

[22]Alfred Vagts, A History of Militarism. Civilian and Military, (New York: Merridan Books, 1937, 1959), 542pp, here p 13

[23] Ibid, p 17

[24] Ibid, p 14

[25] For personnel figures, see for 1970 Forsvarets Brevskole (1974) Kursus 42, Samfundskundskab 2 lektion 9, 77pp, here p 21 or

Årlig  redegørelse 1985 (Annual Report1985) p 29; for 1990 Samfundstatistik 1999, p 127 table 27-1; for 2010 Forsvarskommandoen

 Årsrapport 2012, (Annual Report) p 42 note 1; for 2016, download 05.04.2016 NB.

 The number of conscripts is calculated as a full year´s work for one person (“årsværk”). For population statistics Samfundsstatistik

respective years.For defence expenditures and defence expenditures/Gross National Product 1970, 1990, 2010, and 2016 see

download 06.04.2016 For the number of military locations 1990 (=1989) see Keld

Jensen, Strukturudviklingen i forsvaret og dennes betydning for regionalgeografiske forhold (The Structural

Development of the Armed Forces and Its Importance for Regional-geographical factors), (Roskilde: RUC, 1994)

344pp, here table 8 p 130 or table 15 p 138. For 2016: Data from Helle Kolding,CS, 18.4.2016. For defence expenditures

for soldiers abroad for 1990 see Finansministeriet. Forsvarsministeriet, Økonomiministeriet, Forsvarets økonomi,

(København, April 1994), 140pp, here p 9 table 1. The expenditures raised ten times from 41 mio. DKK to 431 mio.

DKK over just four years. In 1998, the UN deployment expenditures were stipulated to 600 mio. DKK, ibid. table 3 p

133; for 2010 see Forsvarskommandoen, Årsrapport 2010 (Annual Report) (København), 64pp, here p 48 table 4.8.1.  and

table p 60. For the number of Danish deployed soldiers 2010 (=1,281) see Forsvarskommandoen, Fakta om forsvaret (Facts on

Defence) 2010:42 however in Danish Defence, Facts and Figures, (København, Febr. 2011), p 44 the number is (=1,109)

is 13% lower; for 2016 see Jyllandsposten April 1, 2016:4, ”Et presset forsvar…” (A stressed Defence…”). The costs of

new operations, the military will have to finance with “existing money”. For functions of Chief of Defence 1970 see

Forsvarets brevskole, Samfundskundskab II, lektion 9, 77pp, here p 20 or for 1981 see FKO, Organisation og

bemanding, (Organization and Manning), FKOPUB PA.234-1, May 1981. In 1970, Chief of Defence had full command

over 49 functions, facilities, organizations; for 2016 see Organiseringen og ledelsen af forsvaret og tillæg til aftale på

forsvarsområdet (Organization and Management of the Defence and enclosure to Political Agreement 2014 – 2017),

April 10, 2014, bilag 4 (enclosure 4) or

organization diagram of today shows that chief of defense are now only responsibly for seven staffs/Commands: Each

of the three services, operation, special operation, Arctic operation, and development. Operation headquarters are all

located in Jutland, while he stays in Copenhagen.

[26] This lean aspect as the demand for increased efficiency in the military is repeatedly mentioned in Aftale på forsvarsområdet, 2013 – 2017, (2012), op. cit., p 21, 4, 32, et passim.

[27]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 – 2017, (2012), op.cit., here p 3f..

[28]Jyllandsposten July 25, 2009: 3 ”Historisk aftale om forsvaret på plads”(Historical Agreement Reached on Defence”)

[29] Data to be delivered by VFK or FMN

[30] Figures delivered by Helle Kolding, CS April 18, 2016

[31] Berlingske Tidende February 10, 1995: “The Phd report (of Keld Jensen, see note 24 above) points out that a relocation of military installations is incredibly slow”  

[32]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 - 2017”, (2012), op. cit., p 22: “…to manage an effective defence it is important that it at any time only have the installations necessary for their task performance”

[33] Nikolaj Petersen, Forsvaret i den politiske beslutningsproces (The Defence in the Political Decision—Making Process) (København: FOV, 1979), 63 pp, here p 19f

[34]Forsvarskommandoen, Direktiv vedrørende decentral organisationsstyring, FKODIR 234-1, 2014-2, p4: ”Udgangspunktet for oprettelse af (alle) stillinger er at en stilling er militær, når en eller flere af følgende funktioner er pålagt stillingens indehaver… (”The starting point is that all jobs are military if they include specific functions… ”). It means that all jobs are civilian unless they include one or more military elements.  

[35] Chief of Defence, Christian Hvidt, ignored the political will expressed by the chief of the defence department and the director of the department of foreign affairs not to vote for a Finnish general for the top post of the European Military Committee, see Jyllandsposten April 30, 2001, feature article. His successor Jesper Helsø declared his support for Hvidt´s action. It should have led to his resignation. Moreover, Helsø questioned publicly the politically decided reduction of the conscript period. The Defence Command tried to stop the publication of a book, “Jæger – I krig med eliten” (“A Ranger – in war with the elite”) written by a special operation soldier from the Jægerkorpset arguing that it could damage the security of Danish soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. The chief of Defence, Tim Sloth Jørgensen supported the demand from the Defence Command. However, the chief of Army Operations, CNL Sommer, found no reason to do so. To prove the need for him to stop the publication of the book, the permanent secretary, Lars Findsen, told reporters that the book already had been translated to Arabic, available for the Talibans in Afghanistan in war with Danish soldiers. In fact, the Arabic translation was a Google translation fabricated by senior officers of the Defence Command, cf. Politiken September 13, 2010, feature article. Tim Sloth Jørgensen paid the price and got fired, but no organizational changes were made. In 2011, the Danish GAO, criticized the military for its financial management, Berlingske June 16, 2011 “Hård kritik af økonomistyring i forsvaret” (“Harsh Critic of the Financial Management in the Military”).  The present Chief of Defence, Peter Bartram, threatened armed forces personnel from public critic. The Ombudsmand has, at his own initiative, decided to look at this case  .  

[36]Aftale på forsvarsområdet 2013 – 2017 (2012), op.cit., p 38f

[37]Ibid, p 38

[38] bid,  p 5

[39] Ibid, p 5

[40] Giuseppe Caforio,”Introduction”, p 7 – 18, in Giuseppe Caforio (ed.), The European Officer. A Comparative View on Selection and Education, ((Pisa: European Research Group on Armed Forces and Society, 2000), 249pp, here p 11. The six factors are 1. Selection (examination before entrance or previous test level for instance from high school). 2 Teaching staff (less military more civilians). 3. Curriculum (more civilian than military). 4. Military training and studying ( is less included and more preceded-followed). 5. Acceptance of the officer diploma (before only usable within the Armed Forces now a degree valid in every respect). 6. Academy socialization (less to a total institution and more to a student body).

[41]Forsvarskommandoens repræsentanter i styringsgruppen vedr. nyordning af forsvarets personelforhold, Særudtalelsetil betaænkning af juli 1980 angående forsvarets fremtidige personel- og uddannelsesstruktur, July 22, 1980 arguing that increased education means lack of soldiers in service on a daily basis

[42] Chief of the Danish Army cadet school, Hærens Officersskole, Eigil Schjønning did so Berlingske, November 9, 2013 “Kritisk oberst fyres fra chefjob” (“Critical Colonel Fired from Chief Post”),

[43] Peter Bartram, “Fremtidens stærke ledere og chefer”, feature article in Berlingske, August 14, 2014.   

[44]Arbejdsgruppen vedr. justering af forsvarets personnel- og uddannelsesstruktur, Bilag 32. Delrapport vedrørende seniorordninger (Report on Senior Arrangements) October 30, 2007, 9 pp, here 3.

[46]Fagbladet Officeren, No 01.2016: 9-11: “Ændret pensionsalder” (“Changed Retirement Age”), here p 11 or CS-Bladet 1.2016:6 “Ændret pensionsalder (”Changed Retirement age”)

[47]Fagbladet Officeren, “Helbredsbetinget afskedigelse”, nr. 2.2016, p 39

[48]Berlingske, April 15, 2015: ”Forsvaret har det skidt” (“The Armed Forces are not well”), Editorial, p 2 referring a HR- survey that shows reduced ”job satisfaction” among Danish defence employees from 81 % in 2014 to 71 % in April 2015; CS-bladet, Oct 2015, p 10: “HR-måling kræver handling” (“HR-evaluation Demands Action”) informs of a further drop in “job satisfaction” in Oct. 2015 to 68 %.  

[49] Ibid., “180 graders stillingsskifte”, p 19

[50]Fagbladet Officeren, no. 4.2009, p 18 :”Forsvaret er et udenrigspolitisk instrument” (”The Danish Defence is a foreign policy instrument”)

[51] Jørn Olesen, ”Skrækscenariets virkeliggørelse” (”The realisation of the scenario of fear”) in Berlingske March 12, 2014:16

[52]Fagbladet Officeren, ”Officersuddannelser” (“Education of Officers”), no. 2.2016, p 19: Only  “…half of the prescribed number of applicants to the cadet schools have applied” before deadline

[53] Rasmus Munch, ”Regeringen og forsvarets ledelse har svigtet Danmark” (”The Government and the JCS has failed Denmark”), feature article in Berlingske, May, 19, 2008

[54]Fagbladet Officeren 3.2011:26f “Hvad betyder ubalancen mellem arbejde og familieliv for karrieren” (“What does the unbalance of work and family mean for the career?)

[55]Ibid, “Walk the Talk”, editorial, p 3.

[56] Forsvarsministeriets udvalg…, Rapport om forsvarets fremtidige struktur og størrelse, (København  March 2, 1992), 138pp, here p 105: C.

[57]Statsrevisorernes bemærkning til beretning nr. 17/2008 (The Parliamentary Accounts Committee´s comments to report no. 17/2008) of September 28, 2008: ”personal shortage of NCOs and specialistfunctions such as logistics”

[58]Notat til statsrevisorerne om beretning om forsvarets understøttelse af sine militære operationer i Afghanistan”, (Memo to the Danish GAO on the report on the support of the military´s operations in Afgghanistan”) 2013, op. cit., p 3: “…in the September 2009 report on the Armed Forces´ support of their military operations in Afghanistan…the personnel situation of the Military was under pressure, in particular on within the specialist area”

[59]Ibid., p 3: ”…still shortage of specialist for the international missions, and the number of soldier, just contemporarily appointed for deployment to Afghanistan indicates continued challenges of personnel deficiencies in spite of the initiatives of the Armed Forces.”

[60]CS-Bladet 6.2015:10f, ”Vi mangler kolleger” (”We miss colleagues”)

[61]Danske Offícerer 6.2015:3, editorial

[63] Danish Defence, Global Engagement, Annex 2, p 361: “The dependency of specialists is a challenge for the present manning-situation. At present, the air force technical field and officers within control and warning, are the primarily problem areas” 

[64] Interview with Helle Kolding, Centralforeningen for Stampersonel, CS, Trade union for the NCOs to which air plane  mechanics belong, April  15, 2016, 01.00 – 02.00 PM

[65]CS-bladet No 2.2016:20-21 ”Teknikere med fornemmelse for fly” (”Technicians with a Sense for Air Planes”)  

[66]Repeated surveys reveal growing discontent among professional soldiers with the Armed Forces, see Berlingske May 19, 2008, "Officerer advarer om sanmmenbrud" (“Officers warn against collapse") or "Flugten fra forsvaret fortsætter" (“The Running Away from the Military goes on”) and note 48 above

[67] See my web page under “civil, democratic control of the military”

[68]Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State. The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Toronto: Random House, 1957), 535pp, here 7 – 19. SPH uses the distinction “objective” – subjective” democratic control of the armed forces

[69]Morris Janowitz, The Professional Soldier, (New York: Collier Macmillan, 1960), 465pp.

[70] For a comparison of SPH and MJ see Henning Sørensen, ”New Perspectives on the Military Profession: The I/O Model and Esprit de Corps Reevaluated”, Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 20, No. 4, Summer 1994, pp 599 - 617