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US-Danish Nuclear Relations

The history of US-Danish nuclear relations is a case study of how nuclear weapons affect close relations between allies countries and nuclear and non-nuclear nations. During the Cold War the relationship was tested many times in disputes over US nuclear weapons deployments on Danish territory, nuclear weapons policy and deployments in Europe, and port visits by nuclear-capable warships.

Since 1957, essentially every Danish government has reaffirmed an opposition to nuclear weapons on Danish territory yet at the same time endorsed a role for such weapons in its own defense and NATO strategy. As these issues played themselves out in the debate, Denmark's non-nuclear policy became more and more specific. One of the most contentious issues concerned whether the US violated Denmark's non-nuclear policy and to what extent Danish governments knowingly "turned a blind eye" to violations. The official line in Copenhagen was that there was no indication that the US brought nuclear weapons in and that allied countries in any case trust each other.

Over the years, however, persistent researchers and retired US military personnel gradually provided sufficient evidence to suggest that the nuclear operations did occur on Danish territory despite the governments' claim. Some of these cases have been substantiated others remain to be documented:

Nuclear operations in Greenland
Nuclear warship visits to Danish ports

 

Hans M. Kristensen/Federation of American Scientists | www.nukestrat.com | 2004-2007

 

 

  Hans M. Kristensen