Skip to comments." We will not force the US to maintain its military presence"
Posted on 11/14/2005 12:18:44 PM PST by Leifur
Icelanders will not force the US to maintain its military presence should they wish withdraw said prime minister Halldór Ásgrímsson at a meeting of the central committee of the Progressive Party Friday night.
According to the Icleandic National Broadcasting Service, Halldór said that the US needed to speak clearly and take the initiative on Iceland's defenses. He said that Icelanders would not tolerate the status quo. He plans closer cooperation with the European nations. He said he was not hopeful that a solution regarding the defense issues would be found in the coming months.
The prime minister said it was unacceptable that the agreement on Iceland's defenses had taken five years and was still not concluded. He said that the current US proposals mean in effect that Iceland would pay not only the operation of Keflavík airport but also the defenses.
The main coalition governing party, the Independence party (a Conservativ/Libertarian/Christan Democrat), my party, is more pro-US, and we will try that we can to keep the US here, so if a rift occurs between Europe and the EU (wich we are not part of, thank God, hence the name of my party) sometime in the future, we would fall on the US side. But the Progressives, and specially the evil Socialdemocratic Union are trying to tow us more towards Old Europe.
It is of utmost importance that the US will keep their agreement with us, because if they don´t, they will prove the leftists/kommies rigth about that their presence here was not to protect Iceland (and all democratic nations) like my party argued, but to fulfill their own selfish reasons and would toss us aside like a used rag when the need would pass by.
That would mean irreversable political harm to my party, currently and traditionally the biggest party in the country, and maybe eventually lead us into the arms of the Imperialistic EU choking hold. We would propably have to make an agreement with NATO for protecting the country, and although that maybe does not sound that bad, it would eventually plough the way for a participation in the EU defence project. Need I remind you that the whole purpose of EU and all its projects is Anti-Americanism.
So now I ask you please use your political powers to keep the joint Icelandic defence agreement from 1951 and pressure your government to finish the agreement. I can, and propably most Independence party members, agree on increased Icelandic participation in our own defences, and increased participation in the cost of running the Keflavík airfield, but such an agreement needs to be based on the old agreement and its role as a joint cooperational defence agreement benefitting both, not as we would essentially be buying a service from the US military.
I want to remind you on our support for the Afganistan war (we sent peacekeepers there) and the Iraq war (we sent bomb experts as a part of peacekeeping effort there) like ridiguled in Michael´s Moore film. It is better to have something to say about our foreign policy by beeing a loyal ally of the US and all about our internal affairs than having no control over neither as if we would be part of the EU, wich could be eventual consecuense of not striking a good agreement with the US of A.
How could they force us?
The Icelanders have been reading Canadian newspapers.
Agreed - how could they force us?
How could they force us? Cut off our supply of cod just before Christmas, thats how!
This would seem to be a good time to raid Denmark, Belgium and France to recover lost Danegeld. Then you could buy your own defense.
I don't know much about this at all, but from what I can gather the U.S. is wanting to withdraw a base from Iceland?
If that's the case, I don't think we should withdraw. Iceland would be strategic for missle defense. Again I have no idea of the background of the story.
Here's a link to what I believe is the treaty in question: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/iceland/ice001.htm
Under Article VII, it would appear that either side may terminate the treaty
Agreed. I would like to see Iceland remain a part of the North American alliance, which right now consists of, well, the US and Iceland. (Canada and Mexico aren't so sure where they stand, I think they would both join the EU if they could)...
Seriously, Iceland is wise to keep its options open in the way that, say, Poland and others have done, playing to the EU on the one hand, but maintaining an alliance with the US at the same time. Poland would disappear into the EU if they didn't maintain their own independent foreign policy, and their importance to the US is increased by the fact that they are an independent voice within the EU. They are playing a smart hand of poker by playing both sides of the street.
But EU membership would probably choke Iceland with all of its rules and regs that may or may not be well suited to Iceland. Poland is already being threatened with punishment by the EU for not following Brussels in certain domestic policies as you probably know.
I say The US out of Iceland and Iceland out of...the...hell, that don't work either!
I have been to Iceland several times on vacation, and passed through many more when connecting to other flights. One of the most beautiful places in the world.
Pass the rotten shark and let's drink some black death to the spirit of the vikings.
Aye, so it is. Went there hiking a few years ago. Just awesome is the only way to describe it. Harsh but awesome.
Bobbdobbs, there has of course been a huge reduction in US presence here, but now the disagreement is on what should be the minimum defences and who should pay what. I beliewe minimum defences should be in accordance to the NATO commitment of no country in it should be without Air Defences. Four jets in operation is Iceland´s demand, wich is the current situation after a huge reduction. I can agree with that demand.
As to how much either of us should pay, I can agree with us paying more, but then those payments should not be like us renting a service from the US, but more of Icelanders taking more responsibility over our own defences. That could be f.e. us taking over the security and running of the air base, taking over the radar operations and such, and thus pay for those things ourselves.
That would of course meen even more reduction of US personel. But one thing we can´t handle ourselfs is Air Defences. That should be based on the old agreement still, wich is the basis for the talks between our respected governments.
11Bush, marron, Prodigal Son, The Noodle, thanks for kind words. Noodle this is the agreement wich the talks are based on, hopefully that will not be disbanded. Marron, Iceland is not going to join the EU if I can, and my party, have anything to say about it, you are correct it would suffocate us. I beliewe the Polish aproach is the wrong one, rather should we create an option for European countries, f.e. with the merging of EFTA (dwindling competitor to the EU Iceland and Norway are part of) and NAFTA into a TAFTA (Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Association), a continued good relations between Europe and the US is the most importantant for us, beeing in the middle.
Others, I think nobody is actually talking about forcing anyone. Except if in the agreement talks the Icelandic government would say we want this, and if we won´t get it, the agreement is terminated. I don´t beliewe that to be the right aproach, but I do not trust the Progressives (and certeinly not the Social democratic Union) for not doing that to force the US to disband the agreement and thus beeing able to say:
"See the US, they do not care about us, they have just beeing using us, so lets return to the European fold, where everyone is cooperating (under socialistic authoritarian system) for the advancement of Europe", wich is of course an Anti-American statement in disguise. I urge you to reread my comment, so you can see that this statement is not the important thing about this article.
Keflavik Iceland was probably the most important military base used for the tracking of Soviet subs during the cold war. It was from this base that most initial contact was made on subs at the onset of their patrol. ASW aircraft flew around the clock, overlapping missions for decades without a break. Operations from this base probably won the cold war for us. The Russkies could never get past the island without being hunted, detected and tracked until they went home. As old, antiquated, and unromantic as it was (and still is), the P3 Orion was the main player in this cat and mouse game. At times there would be a half dozen squadrons represented there at one time with as many planes in the air. It was definately a hot bed. There's not much left in strategic value to the base now however, for obvious reasons. That's why the usefullness of the base is coming into question. The way things are going between us and the EU, we may need Kef to keep track of EU subs sometime in the near future. I say we stay.
Iceland has been a strong ally for decades. It was a vital strategic location during the cold war and will be again if tensions rise for some reason again in Europe. We should get an agreement in place.
The only place where you can walk from one continental plate to another, as far as I know.
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