Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 407

407 Arctic Yearbook 2014   aims to prioritize. There is a certain degree of synergy between the different tasks. Most of the tasks require increased presence on the Greenlandic seas. For instance, sovereignty enforcement, patrolling and fisheries inspection can all be handled by the same vessel, doing a regular patrol of the Greenlandic seas. Investing in new naval vessels has consequently been one of the main issues. The Danish Parliament announced the purchase of a third Knud Rasmussen class patrol vessel – a platform that is tailored for Arctic missions - as part of the latest defense agreement (Danish Parliament, 2012: 10). To be sure, some tasks do require separate capabilities. For instance, search and rescue missions require specific capabilities that cannot be used for other purposes. Defense planning is not only a question of procuring more capabilities – it is also a matter of prioritizing separate tasks. Defense planners have also been looking at how new technologies could offer a cheap solution to some of the challenges of climate change. Indeed, the Danish Parliament recently allocated DKK 220 million (USD 40 million) to extensive tests of new technologies – including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and satellites – in Greenland (Danish Parliament, 2012: 15). UAVs have sometimes been seen as a cheaper option for aerial surveillance of Greenland (Defense Commission of 2008, 2009: 300; Jørgensen & Rahbek-Clemmensen, 2009: 39). However, preliminary analyses indicate that the harsh weather conditions and the long distances mean that only strategic UAVs, like Golden Hawk, would be feasible in the Arctic. With a present unit cost of roughly DKK 2 billion (USD 365 million), the Golden Hawk is definitely beyond the spending limit of the Danish armed forces. In the mid- to long-term, new and cheaper strategic UAVs may enter the market, making drones a feasible option in Greenland (Kristensen, Pradhan-Blach, & Schaub, 2013: 20 & 23–24; Ringsmose, 2014: 16–20). Satellite surveillance is also being considered. Denmark does not have the funds to launch a satellite program alone and would most likely cooperate with other Arctic nations. Satellites are a prerequisite for the use of larger UAVs. If Denmark has to invest in satellites either way, it might as well invest in surveillance satellites (Kristensen, Pradhan-Blach, et al., 2013: 23–24). Satellites are consequently seen as the most likely long-term solution to the Danish surveillance requirements in the Arctic. Mission creep is a potential risk for Danish defense planning in the Arctic (Jørgensen & RahbekClemmensen, 2009). The Greenlandic authorities lack the capabilities to handle all the major contingencies that may arise as commercial activities increase. For instance, they may be unable to quell popular unrest in remote mining settlements, handle urgent health emergencies in locations with harsh weather conditions, or perform search and rescue in case of the sinking of a cruise ship within Greenlandic waters. Defense planners face a dilemma. On the one hand, these contingencies are the responsibility of the Greenlandic authorities and should not influence Danish defense planning. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine that refraining from preparing for such contingencies would not be seen as a failure by the public, should they actually occur. Defense planners may thus be motivated to plan for missions that are strictly speaking not within the purview of the Armed Forces. One should look to the political level to find a strict definition of Armed Forces’ area of responsibility. The latest defense agreement includes some guidance in that regard. It specifies that one cannot expect the same level of emergency preparedness in Greenland as in Denmark – a claim that has later been reiterated by the Danish Minister of Defense (Danish Parliament,   “Arctic-Vism” in Practice