Military support, canned pork and an air base: Here’s why Denmark has been an important U.S. ally

When the United States goes to war, Denmark has been quick to pitch in. Denmark was an important NATO member during the Cold War because of its strategic location on the bloc’s northern edge. In the decade after the Cold War, Danish forces served in Bosnia under U.S. command as part of the NATO air campaign against Serbia in 1999, according to the Atlantic Council.

After 9/11, Denmark contributed troops to the war in Afghanistan, and a small contingent of Danes remain in Kabul nearly 18 years later. Denmark also provides more than $100 million on average annually to build Afghanistan’s security forces, per the Danish Defense Ministry.

Denmark was also quick to support the war in Iraq, chipping in a submarine, a warship and several hundred troops in 2003 to bolster the U.S. invasion, according to the Irish Times. Government ministers under then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen defended the intelligence — later debunked — used to justify that invasion. Denmark maintained a military presence in Iraq until 2007.

Since then, the country has contributed troops to a U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State and assisted other U.S. military operations in the Middle East.

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