Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 404

404 Arctic Yearbook 2014 littoral states, Denmark is currently submitting its claims. Denmark is interested in getting as much Arctic territory as possible and Copenhagen expects that these issues will be solved according to a rules-based approach (Government of Denmark et al., 2011: 13–15). Denmark’s relationship with the four Nordic Arctic nations occurs within a framework of Nordic cooperation. Denmark supports increased Nordic cooperation in the Arctic, but concurrently recognizes that its practical value is limited due to the relative isolation of Greenland. The 2009 Stoltenberg report, published by the Norwegian government as a platform for additional Nordic cooperation, suggested several options for Nordic cooperation in the Arctic (Stoltenberg, 2009). However, although the report created a lot of positive buzz among Danish officials and analysts, its recommendations have met significant practical barriers. The long distances between Scandinavia and Greenland mean that the Nordic countries are not likely to provide useful capabilities in case of emergencies. Instead, Denmark sees Canada as the most likely partner country in that regard. Nordic cooperation plays a more significant role in other areas like scientific research, education, and health (Government of Denmark et al., 2011: 35–36 & 40). The Ukraine crisis means that Nordic Defense Cooperation (NORDEFCO), a collaboration scheme between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, have come to play a more important role for each of the five member states (Nilsen, 2014). The collaboration increases defense efficiency by taking advantage of synergies between the five states, while functioning as an additional way of integrating non-NATO members Sweden and Finland into the Western security architecture (Dahl & Järvenpää, 2014: 129–30; Järvenpää, 2014). However, NORDEFCO mainly focuses on Northern Scandinavia and will not play a significant role in the Danish Arctic for now. Russia has been the main cause for concern in Danish Arctic policy, even before the Ukraine crisis, and a rivalry between Moscow and Washington is the most likely source of conflict in the region (Jørgensen & Rahbek-Clemmensen, 2009; Rahbek-Clemmensen, 2014; RahbekClemmensen, Larsen, & Rasmussen, 2012). Denmark is not concerned with a possible land-grab by Russian forces – instead, the main danger is that Denmark will be squeezed between Russia and the United States in case of a great power rivalry in the High North. Copenhagen is consequently walking a tight-rope between deterrence and accommodation. Denmark wants to keep Russia within the well-functioning cooperative order in the Arctic and is willing to surrender short-term political advantages to achieve that goal. However, Denmark is also wellaware of the need for effective deterrence of Russia. For instance, the recent Danish F-16 exercises in Greenland was as much a test of the aircraft’s ability to act under Arctic conditions as a clear demonstration of Danish military prowess (Martin, 2014). Denmark is, together with Canada, generally opposed to increased NATO involvement in the High North and NATO is largely absent from the Arctic Strategy. Copenhagen has not been as vocal as Ottawa about its opposition to an increased NATO involvement, but Copenhagen policymakers believe that an Arctic NATO involvement would be a red flag for Moscow that would complicate regional governance and increase the likelihood of militarization. Denmark has contributed with F-16s to NATO’s air-policing operations in Iceland. Denmark has seen China’s entrance to the Arctic as an opportunity for further cooperation with Beijing. Denmark has generally supported giving China and other Northeast Asian states a seat at the Arctic table, including by giving them observer status in the Arctic Council (Government Rahbek-Clemmensen