Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Nation-Building by Force

I have just sped through Michael Ignatieff's bookAmerica's Empire Lite (this links to an article on Global Policy Forum). It just enforced my growing impression that the debate leading up to the Danish general election is really missing the foreign policy dimension. Speculations, I was told by a good-looking source, are if the major parties (who are all behind the detachment in Iraq) have decided to keep it out of the picture - leaving it to various fringe-parties on the left to comment on. Foreign policy is never a big issue - but the biggest opposition party SocialDemokratiet, doesn't even mention it in their election-material.

This is unfortunate. We just got ourselves a new defence-paper, radically restructuring the composition and roles for our soldiers. They are being cast as an actual tool for foreign policy, they are purchasing equipment for going abroad and the core of the forces are being professionalized.

This will lead to Danish forces being used in a offensive role when the need arises again. And enter Empire - if the politicians don't start informing the people of how the emerging world-order looks like (e.g. that force and short-term "colonisation" is being used as a prerequisite for nation-building, and hopefully, peace), they will lose legitimacy every time Danish troops are used abroad in this manner.

It would be a major upheaval in Danish Foreign Policy tradition - but hey, we're already there...


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