‘Extremely critical situation’ in NATO member’s army – general – Reuters

Danish army ‘short of soldiers like never before’, top commander says

The second in command of the Danish army has warned that the country is “years” far from having a combat-capable army, according to comments he made this week to state broadcaster TV 2.

Brigadier General Henrik Lyhne said the Danish military was facing what he called the worst staffing problem in decades – a factor he said will complicate efforts to meet Copenhagen obligations to the NATO. He added that low salaries and poor staff accommodation have contributed to an exodus from the armed forces. This, in turn, led to problems in Denmark providing troops to the eastern flank of the US-led military bloc in Latvia.

“It’s an emergency call” Lynhe said in an interview that aired Monday. “The situation is extremely critical, in particular because we are short of soldiers like never before. I’ve been in the armed forces for 40 years and it’s never been so bad.

He added that around 20-25% of positions in the Danish army are currently vacant, and that although “More money is injected soon” it would take years to restore it to earlier standards.

A key issue, Lyhne said, is the unpreparedness of Denmark’s 1st Brigade, known as “Army’s First”, which is about 1,000 troops short of its planned strength of 4,000, according to a memo. internal to the Ministry of Defence.

According to TV 2, which reported on the memo, the document says Denmark is meeting only three of NATO’s 17 force goals. This relates to various military material purposes, such as the delivery of short-range air defense systems to the military. This led to reprimands from NATO personnel as well as the UK and US, according to TV 2 reports on the ministry memo.

NATO determined in a 2020 assessment of the Danish military that there was already a “critical deficit” in his army, which would probably make him “practically useless in an acute conflict.”

In response to Lyhne’s comments, Danish acting defense minister Troels Lund Poulsen told TV 2 this week that the country’s military situation was “critical.” Danish military analyst Jens Wenzel Kristofferson asked, also on TV 2, whether Denmark could consider itself a “basic ally” to NATO when it is so far behind in terms of military requirements.

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