Iceland's Defence Issues "Third Crisis" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s Defence Issues “Third Crisis”

Published October 17, 2011

A new report released by the Swedish army expresses some grave concerns over Iceland’s security situation, calling it the “third crisis”, and in need of immediate attention.
While Iceland is a NATO country, it has had no military presence since the departure of American forces in 2006. It maintains no army, and the idea of establishing one is very unpopular among Icelanders.
The investigative department of the Swedish army has issued a report calling Iceland’s current defence status a “third crisis,” after the economic and political ones. They compared Iceland to Guðbjartur Jónsson, the main character of Halldór Laxness’ Independent People, whose search of independence led to poverty and tragedy.
Given the lack of any defence apart from being in NATO, as well as Russian interest in Icelandic airspace, the Swedish army posed the question in the report of whether or not Iceland’s defence policy was in harmony with the rest of Europe’s.
The army believes Iceland needs political unity in order to bring itself out of its crisis, and more effectively address matters of security, rather than taking the position that “another man’s bread is the worst poison that a free and independent man can eat,” as Guðbjartur said, and end up in “poverty and tragedy”.

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