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Danmarks handlerum i Arktis

Studenteropgave: Diplomprojekt

  • Esben Thorseth
  • David Hultmann
  • Camilla Petersen
Afgangsprojekt, Den militære diplomuddannelse (Diplomuddannelse)
The purpose of this study is to explain how the Danish political action space in the Arctic is influenced by the American pressure on the Kingdom of Denmark. Inter-state competition is now a primary focus for the US and in the Arctic region where China and Russia challenges the American position as a superpower in the region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a speech in the Arctic Council which put emphasis on this new stand against Russia and China. The speech was unusual because international security policy is normally not discussed in the Council. A few months later President Donald Trump made a proposition to buy Greenland. This has sparked a new interest for the Arctic region and the study seeks to answer the question:

“How can the Danish political action space in the Arctic be explain in relation to the American
pressure on the Kingdom of Denmark?”

The study was conducted as an analysis of documents. Neorealism and Neoclassical realism theory is the basis of the analysis combined with “Handlerumsmodellen” by Nikolaj Petersen. The model is a triangle consisting of three dimensions; inner factors, outer factors and level of ambitions. The inner factors consist of four factors. The history between the US, Greenland and Denmark has been troubled and the intern relation between Denmark and Greenland is categorized by a degree of distrust. Denmark wants to maintain its position as an Arctic. The decisions makers in Denmark agree on the political line in the Arctic, but they haven't prioritized the region, and therefore the Danish strategy for the Arctic is vague. The Kingdom of Denmark's capacities in the Arctic are limited compared to the other Arctic nations. That ends up with an inner dimension that are limited. Because of Greenland’s strategic geographic location and the importance of the Thule-base the analysis of the outer factors concludes the American Arctic policy limits the action space. The US is the only allied to the Kingdom of Denmark and provides security, which in turn among other things has to provide surveillance of the airspace. The level of ambition also limits the Danish action space because of the relationship with the US and to maintain peace in the region which enables the possibility for Danish interest to be fulfilled.

The conclusion of the study is that the Danish political action space in the Arctic is limited by the American pressure on the Kingdom of Denmark.
Udgivelsesdato18 feb. 2020
Antal sider63
Udgivende institutionInstitut for Strategi
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