A top military general has expressed serious doubts over Denmark’s ability to fulfil its NATO targets. According to the general it will take years for Denmark to have a combat-ready army.
“This is an emergency call. The situation is extremely critical, especially because we lack soldiers like never before. I have been in the armed forces for 40 years, and it has never looked this bad,” Henrik Lyhne, the army’s second-in-command, told local broadcaster TV 2.
Currently 20-25% of positions in the army are vacant. Even if more money is injected soon, it will take years to restore a combat-capable army, according to Lyhne.
Denmark is meeting only three out of the 17 targets set by the Defense Ministry, according to a reason report.
The most pressing issue for the army remains its lack of battle-ready soldiers. The 1st Brigade is at least 1,000 soldiers short of its full strength of 4,000, the report stated.
Responding to Lyhne’s comments, Troels Lund Poulsen, the country’s acting defense minister, acknowledged that the situation is “critical.”
According to the chairman of the union that organizes the army’s constables and corporals, it is crucial to make the army an attractive place to work.
One of the areas that makes the Danish army an unattractive workplace is the low pay. According to TV2, a constable or corporal in the Royal Danish Army makes approximately 22,800 DKK a month.
“We are some of the lowest paid in Denmark, even though these people put their lives on the line,” Lyhne’s says.