Denmark Lacking Replacement Soldiers for NATO Mission in Latvia

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Danish SoldiersInternationalIndiaAfricaDenmark’s defense capabilities have been depleted by numerous missions abroad, as well as massive military assistance to Ukraine, which forced the government to admit that the nation’s war chest is scraped bare.In an uncomfortable admission from the nation’s own top brass, Denmark is apparently struggling to provide a replacement for its rotating mission in Latvia that end in the spring.The 800-strong Danish battalion is part of NATO’s “deterrence mission” in the Baltics and was touted as the Nordic nation’s largest military deployment in decades. However, the mission which also includes heavy gear such as combat vehicles, has since run into difficulties ranging from lack of ammo and equipment to moldy and dilapidated tents, which have been blamed on years of cuts in military spending.“The size of the contribution alone has meant that a large part of the Army’s personnel has been deployed within the past year, and this means that we must have a period during which we can build up again,” Army Chief Major General Gunner Arpe Nielsen told Danish media.The news comes as the Danish Armed Forces suffers drastic shortages, confirmed by several military trade unions. According to them, there is a lack of personnel in all fighting arms — the army, the navy and the air force — with some smaller units only having 50 percent of the required manpower and larger units lacking up to 30 percent of the manpower. According to a ministerial reply earlier this year, the overall staffing ratio in the Danish Armed Forces is 82 percent.The team of soldiers deployed at present to NATO’s mission in Latvia is the second team that Denmark has sent after declaring its commitment to the alliance’s common defense earlier this year. Remarkably, problems already occurred when finding personnel for the second team.More soldiers have been deployed in 2022 than originally intended by defense planners. Denmark has also sent soldiers to Estonia, instructors to the UK, and soldiers to Iraq. And there is a part of the Danish personnel busy training Ukrainian forces both at home and abroad. Overall, Denmark, a country of 5.8 million, has a military force of 15,000, a steep decline in decades since the end of the Cold War.Energy Crisis in EuropeDenmark Braced for Record Number of Bankruptcies As Inflation and Energy Crisis Bite6 December 2022, 07:06 GMTThe Danish defense capabilities have also been depleted by Copenhagen’s decision to send military help, including Harpoon missiles and other weapons worth millions of dollars to assist Kiev.In a recent admission that the country’s war chest has been scraped bare, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the newly formed Danish coalition government voiced plans to drop the Great Prayer Day, a historic Christian holiday that has existed for more than 300 years, to replenish the military’s coffers.Overall, the West has poured billions in arms assistance to Ukraine, where Russia is conducting a special military operation, to the point of exhausting its own armories. However, while the Washington-led western coalition in support of Ukraine has run into a plethora of difficulties, including massive corruption and weaponry percolating to the black market, it is determined to further fan the flames of the conflict.


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