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Canadian Arctic Security  –  Denmark and Greenland  –  28 August 2009

The Danish Chief of Defence, Admiral Jørgensen, pays a visit to
Nunavut and Greenland to plan for future defence of the region

Denmark's Chief of  Defence, Admiral  Tim Sloth Jørgensen,  has just completed a tour of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic (running from 23 to 28 August).  In Iqaluit, Adm Jørgensen met up with his Canadian opposite,  Gen Natynczyk.  At the time of  writing, there's no mention from DND's small army of Public Affairs Officers. One wonders why not. The Danish military managed  to issue a press release  –  available here, in Danish.

Nor has this story yet been covered in the Canadian media. This is not that surpising, Canada's newspapers also missed the recent Challenger flights until the Danish news releases were made apparent to them. But, of course,  it is up to those  DND  Paffos to make the media aware of significant events  –  especially when it involves their 'boss' !

So, breaking news:  Canadian Paffos aren't very good at their jobs.  Well,  anyone who has tried to follow the Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan could have told you not to rely on that paranoid crowd. The take-home message? If you want to track defence-related  developments in the Arctic, we'd suggest that you lær at læse dansk.


Forsvarschefen besøger Canada og Grønland

23-28 August 2009:  Danish Defence Chief  Tim Sloth Jørgensen visits Canada and Greenland to exchange Arctic experience with the Canadian  Chief of  Defence Staff

Defence Chief [Forsvarschefen, Admiral] Tim Sloth Jørgensen is presently visiting the arctic regions of Canada and Greenland. Global heating is having a profound effect on arctic regions. As the ice melts, it opens the possibilities of  both new shipping routes becoming navigable and increased ship traffic on existing routes. Climate change also has an effect on arctic defence problems as the recent defence agreements point out.

In Canada, Defence Chief Jørgensen visits the town of  Iqaluit – the administrative capital of Nunavut, the eastern portion of the Canadian arctic regions.  Here Tim Sloth Jørgensen met with his Canadian counterpart, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Walter Natynczyk  [ in Iqaluit for Nanook  2009 ].  Higher activity levels in the arctic are not least among the subjects for discussion:

•  As the ice melts, it will change shipping routes – probably resulting in a rise in ship traffic. This had led arctic nations to examine the potential for closer cooperation in the region. Both Denmark and Canada have made moves in that direction. One object of Adm Jørgensen's visit is to discuss greater cooperation with his Canadian colleague.

 The Danish and  Canadian Defence Chiefs  will  then travel
 together to Greenland where, among other things, they will
 meet with Kuupik Kleist,  the chair of Landsstyret,  in Nuuk.
 [ Grønlands Landsstyre is the new Home Rule government.
 JE Kuupik Kleist became Greenland's Prime Minister in June
 2009. Under Self-Rule, local defence and foreign policy will still be determined by Denmark.  Kuupik Kleist also leads Inuit Ataqatigiit,  a political party dedicated to the full independence of  Greenland.]  The Defence Chiefs will then continue on to visit Thule Air Base  [ Gen Natynczyk and Adm Jørgensen flew to this US military airfield in northwestern Greenland aboard an RDAF Canadair Challenger].

•  Defence Chief Jørgensen notes that Greenland is a large area to cover in comparison with Denmark, especially in coastal surveillance, air-sea rescue, and monitoring ocean traffic. Climate change and the prospect of increased ship traffic dictate that the time is now to effectively balance the exploitation of existing Arctic resources with new plans for the future defence of  Greenland and Canada's Arctic.

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