The US-Danish relationship has proven itself remarkably flexible and effective throughout the post-Cold War era, and it is once again on the cusp of evolution with new challenges and opportunities. In the midst of the ongoing debate among NATO allies about burden-sharing, Denmark has consistently punched above its weight, contributing substantially to collective defense for a small country.
Indeed, at the start of 2019, the Danish government released a supplemental defense agreement committing Denmark to increase defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2023. The agreement demonstrates Denmark’s continued aspiration to contribute to the NATO Alliance and provides a needed influx of resources for defense and deterrence. These developments have the potential to profoundly affect a deep but often overlooked security relationship—that between the United States and Denmark.
With Northern Europe as one of the focal points for the strategic competition between Russia and NATO, Denmark is uniquely positioned to contribute to collective security. The US-Danish bilateral relationship should be developed further in order to strengthen European security and to ensure a strong link between Copenhagen and Washington.
This new issue brief, by security expert Magnus Nordenman, examines the long-standing US-Danish defense and security relationship, detailing the close collaboration between the two countries and outlining actionable avenues for increased cooperation between the United States and Denmark in Europe and beyond.