Denmark has begun the withdrawal of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan after almost 20 years of military service in the country.
This can be seen on the Defence Website.
- In the past week, the work on shutting down has really increased for the Danish contribution.
- Dannebrog in the headquarters has been ironed, and the personnel who have had their daily walk there have been repatriated or moved to Hamid Karzai International Airport North, says an update on Danish missions.
According to the Danish Armed Forces, the mission in Afghanistan is formally over for the Danish soldiers at their headquarters in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. And the work of packing up the mission “is in full swing,” it said.
The entire Danish contribution in Afghanistan consists of about 120 soldiers in and around Kabul. They are part of Nato’s training and support mission, the Resolute Support Mission.
However, the mission is not yet complete for all soldiers. This is because there are still tasks to solve for Danish soldiers other than those at headquarters.
The first Danish soldiers came to Afghanistan in January 2002, and since then the mission developed into the bloodiest of the international efforts Denmark has participated in in recent times.
Forty-four Danish soldiers have lost their lives in their efforts in Afghanistan. In addition, 214 Danish soldiers have been wounded. Several of them have lost limbs as a result of roadside bombs.
On Thursday, it was reported that both Nato and the United States have begun the withdrawal of soldiers. And Danish troops are also on their way home.
It has previously been announced that the withdrawal must be completed by September 11.
It is the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack against the United States, which led to the so-called war on terror and the US invasion of Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001.
There are about 9,600 Nato soldiers and its partner countries in Afghanistan.
The decision to withdraw the foreign soldiers has been made, although there is a fear that the Taliban militant movement could return to power in the country.
Denmark, a NATO member, sent 9,500 personnel to Afghanistan between January 2002 and 1 July 2013. They were mostly stationed in Helmand province as part of NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF).
Denmark’s first three deaths were the result of an accident during the disposal of a Soviet-era anti-aircraft missile in 2002. With a new mandate issued by the Danish parliament in 2006, Danish military operations transformed from relatively safe non-combat operations in the centre of the country to combat operations alongside the British contingent in the violent southern Helmand province. 37 soldiers have been killed in various hostile engagements or as a result of friendly fire, and 6 have been killed in non-combat related incidents, bringing the number of Danish fatalities to 43, being the highest loss per capita within the coalition forces. In addition, 214 soldiers were wounded in action and injured.
In addition, one Danish EUPOL civilian staff member was killed in 2014 in Kabul.
Much to their own surprise, successive Danish governments have succeeded in maintaining the highest level of public support among the nations contributing to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, while suffering the highest number of fatalities per capita. We explain this puzzle in a parsimonious fashion manner using a novel analytical framework derived from elite-competition theory, the event-driven school and the literature on strategic narratives. The Danish government initially built strong political and popular support by making a case for war that resonated with broadly shared pre-existing interests and values (national defence and support for democracy and human/women’s rights), and role conceptions (supporting NATO and US-led military operations as a responsible member of international society). Succeeding governments subsequently maintained a high level of political consensus on Afghanistan through a process of continuous consultation and consensus-building. The political elites supporting the mission then sustained the high level of public support by defining success in ways that did not involve ‘winning’ but focused instead on the attainment of realistic short-term, tactical objectives such as police training and building of schools, and by speaking with one voice to the media. This effectively reduced the Danish media to a conveyor belt passively transmitting the positive views of the political parties supporting the Afghanistan operation and the officers and soldiers carrying it out.
In Denmark, Afghanistan is worth dying for: How public support for the war was maintained in the face of mounting casualties and elusive success – Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Jens Ringsmose, 2015 (sagepub.com)