Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 408

408 Arctic Yearbook 2014 2012: 15; Vammen, 2014). By making this an explicit strategic guideline, Danish policymakers relieve some of the pressure from the shoulders of the Armed Forces. Should a major accident occur in the Arctic, the Armed Forces can refer to the agreement to justify its level of preparation. Support Regional Cooperation Danish defense planning not only reflects a wish to handle the challenges of climate change. Following the general strategic thinking about the Arctic, it also has a political dimension that sees practical cooperation between the Arctic states as a way of defusing regional tensions. Defense planning is thus meant to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ diplomatic initiatives by providing a practical dimension to the somewhat lofty agreements in the various regional fora. By actually cooperating about practical missions, the Armed Forces helps defuse some of the conflict potential in the High North. Some defense planners are aware of the potential Arctic security dilemma, caused by the investments in new capabilities. Although these new capabilities are procured for peaceful purposes, they can typically also be used for offensive ends. This may spur a reaction in the other Arctic states, who may decide to bulk up their military capabilities. States consequently risk inadvertently starting a negative spiral of militarization in the Arctic, even though they only have peaceful intensions. Arctic cooperation may help prev