Arctic Yearbook 2014
2012: 15; Vammen, 2014). By making this an explicit strategic guideline, Danish policymakers
relieve some of the pressure from the shoulders of the Armed Forces. Should a major accident
occur in the Arctic, the Armed Forces can refer to the agreement to justify its level of
Support Regional Cooperation
Danish defense planning not only reflects a wish to handle the challenges of climate change.
Following the general strategic thinking about the Arctic, it also has a political dimension that
sees practical cooperation between the Arctic states as a way of defusing regional tensions.
Defense planning is thus meant to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic initiatives
by providing a practical dimension to the somewhat lofty agreements in the various regional
fora. By actually cooperating about practical missions, the Armed Forces helps defuse some of
the conflict potential in the High North.
Some defense planners are aware of the potential Arctic security dilemma, caused by the
investments in new capabilities. Although these new capabilities are procured for peaceful
purposes, they can typically also be used for offensive ends. This may spur a reaction in the other
Arctic states, who may decide to bulk up their military capabilities. States consequently risk
inadvertently starting a negative spiral of militarization in the Arctic, even though they only have
peaceful intensions. Arctic cooperation may help prev