Former NATO Boss Urges Native Denmark to Cough Up for Defence
In the words of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who is advocating for an annual increase of Denmark's defence budget by $2.1 billion, if the authorities allocated "billions upon billions" in COVID-19 relief packages and compensation for a massive mink cull, they should be able to find the necessary means for the military as well.
Former NATO Secretary-General and ex-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on his country to increase defence allocations in order to meet the alliance's demands.
Speaking at the liberal-conservative party Venstre's national meeting, Fogh Rasmussen, its long-time head, called for the defence budget to be increased by DKK 14 billion ($2.1 billion) annually.
"In NATO, we have decided that all allies must invest at least two percent of their GDP in defence by the end of 2024. Denmark is only investing 1.4 percent. This is pathetic", Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, as quoted by the newspaper Berlingske. "It will cost 14 billion kroner a year. It is a lot of money. But freedom and peace are not free. It does cost money", he added, urging the authorities to invest extra in strengthening Danish freedom through a modern and powerful military.
Fogh Rasmussen referred to the Danish Parliament having allocated "billions upon billions" in COVID-19 aid and relief packages to the business community. He additionally cited the government's decision to slaughter the country's entire stock of over 15 million farmed mink, which also led to considerable payouts and compensations.
"The government is prepared to pay up to DKK 18 billion [$2.8 billion] in compensation to take freedom from mink breeders and kill the profession. It should also be able to find DKK 14 billion for defence to strengthen freedom for all of us", Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
However, whereas the compensation for mink breeders was a one-off payment, Anders Fogh Rasmussen's proposal to increase military spending implies an annual basis. This will, by contrast, involve either spending cuts elsewhere or tax hikes.
26 January 2021, 07:28 GMT
Nevertheless, the former NATO boss insists that this step is absolutely necessary.
"It is not just a matter of stopping eternal wars. It is probably as much a task to ensure eternal freedom and peace. For that end, we need a strong military defence. A defence that can also be put into the world's hotspots when needed", Fogh Rasmussen concluded.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen served as Denmark's prime minister from 2001 to 2009 and as NATO secretary-general from 2009 to 2014. He has since become CEO of political consultancy Rasmussen Global and founded the Alliance of Democracies Foundation.