‘We Should Be Recognised, Not Criticised’: Denmark Dismisses US Reproach of Its Military Budget

US Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands has once again slammed the Danish defence budget as insufficient. Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen countered that Denmark’s contribution to NATO cannot be calculated in percentages.

In a new spat, US Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands has reiterated her criticism of the Nordic country’s defence budget and its contribution to NATO as being too small. She called upon Copenhagen to “rectify serious deficiencies” in its military in line with NATO’s guidelines and recent criticism.

In an opinion piece for the newspaper Berlingske, Sands underscored that in the current “increasingly competitive and uncertain geopolitical environment”, all NATO members are obliged to assume a “far-sighted and proactive security position”. Citing “an authoritarian and aggressive China” and “increasingly confident Russia flexing its muscles”, Sands underscored that Denmark’s neighbours, including formally non-aligned Sweden, are raising their military budgets and called on Copenhagen to follow suit. The current shortcomings, she argued, limit the country’s capacity to fight an advanced adversary.

Sands’s criticism, however, has been dismissed by Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen. While admitting that the current threat picture requires a strong defence and pledging to bolster the budget further, Bramsen underscored Denmark’s role within NATO.

This opinion was largely shared across party lines. Lars Christian Lilleholt, defence spokesman for the…

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