From the White House: President Obama hosted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for a meeting in the Oval Office on February 24. Denmark has the distinction of being the only Nordic country that is a member of both NATO and the European Union (EU), making it an especially valuable partner of the United States in a wide variety of endeavors in Europe and around the world. Denmark currently holds the rotating EU Presidency until the end of June.
Defense and Security Cooperation: As NATO allies, the United States and Denmark are committed to each other’s security and stand together in critical crisis areas worldwide.
- Libya: Denmark was among the first and most active participants in the UN-authorized NATO military intervention to protect Libyan civilians. It deployed F-16s during the entire seven-month civilian protection mission.
- Afghanistan: Denmark is a key contributor to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), currently providing 650 combat troops operating without national caveats in one of the most challenging areas of the country. Denmark will continue to play a strong role in Helmand Province providing military forces through 2014 and other training and development assets beyond that date. Since 2002, it has given approximately $530 million in bilateral development assistance to Afghanistan.
- NATO Capabilities: Denmark is one of NATO’s most capable allies. The United States welcomes its interest in leading the Smart Defense initiative to purchase jointly and stockpile munitions, which will cut costs and improve efficiency.
- Bilateral Defense Cooperation: The United States and Danish militaries enjoy a very high level of interoperability; many Danish officers, including all its pilots, have trained in the United States.
- Missile Defense: The United States and Denmark cooperate actively in implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The Kingdom of Denmark is home to U.S. early-warning radar at Thule Air Base in Greenland and hosted the 2011 multinational missile-defense conference, where NATO focused on strengthening cooperation to protect our populations and territory from ballistic missiles.
- Counter-Piracy: Denmark is one of the world’s main seafaring nations (some 10 percent of global shipping moves in Danish-owned or –operated ships), and as such, is a leader in international efforts to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia, chairing an international working group on legal issues and twice commanding an international naval task force. Denmark has made significant contributions, including maritime patrol aircraft, to the NATO-led counter-piracy operation.
- Security and Capacity-Building Cooperation Against Terrorism: Denmark is one of the United States’ strongest and most dynamic counterterrorism partners. Denmark is a member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), a major multilateral initiative to strengthen the international architecture to deal with 21st century terrorism. Denmark is particularly active in the Forum’s work in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
- Nuclear Security Summit: The United States and Denmark will participate in the March 26-27 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. Both countries support efforts to lock down vulnerable nuclear material and acknowledge the important actions of the IAEA and multilateral initiatives such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.
- Law Enforcement: U.S. and Danish authorities enjoy excellent cooperation encompassing a wide range of law-enforcement issues, including cyber, drug, fraud, fugitive, gang-violence, and online child-predator matters. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)