“Modernised” military structure undermines national defence, opposition argues

Government’s decision to eliminate independent military command would be rolled back should opposition win general election

The military's senior defence command is set to be dismantled and integrated into the Defence Ministry's civilian structure. The agreement to eliminate Forsvarskommandoen, the defence's independent military leadership, comes after a long period of wrangling in parliament over changing the structure of the military. About 70 people, including several high-ranking officers, will be affected by the shakeup.

The centre-left government and its allies Enhedslisten agreed on the change yesterday, but the opposition has warned that dismantling Forsvarskommandoen will weaken the nation’s defence structure.

"This agreement is so problematic that we will roll it back immediately after a general election," Konservative defence spokesperson Lene Espersen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Konservative, Vesntre and Dansk Folkeparti agreed it made sense to put Forsvarskommandoen under the same roof as the Defence Ministry, but argued that the two entities should remain seperate.

Venstre defence spokesperson Troels Lund Poulsen, pointing to Enhedslisten's anti-military principles, called it “scary” that the party was now setting the course for military policy.

The defence minister, Nick Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), has long contended that the military needed to be modernised by combining the civilian and military leadership.

Espersen lashed out at Hækkerup for "destroying" the military. She also rejected Enhedslisten's argument that the new structure would contribute to transparency in the military.

“Today, it is possible to assign responsibility when there are problems, in the future, scandals just will not come to light,” she told Jyllands-Posten.