In a historic agreement the Danish government has decided to use soldiers as a temporary reinforcement of the police force. The soldiers will perform guard duties primarily on the border to Germany and around Jewish facilities in Copenhagen.
The guard duties have pulled many resources from the already stretched police force. The border control was introduced in the beginning of 2016, and the extra security around Jewish establishments has been in force since a terrorist attack in 2015.
The decision to use the military for the guard duties is controversial because Denmark has a tradition of sharp distinction between military and police tasks. Critics see the step as a slope towards a more militarized society and argue that other solutions are possible. Military professionals have also pointed out that the military doesn’t have the available resources to assist other government agencies on a permanent basis and that the guard duties can only be a temporary solution.
Ironically, the decision comes only a day after the EU Commission has ordered Denmark to abolish the border control, as the extraordinary conditions for its upholding are no longer present. It doesn’t look like Denmark will follow the request from the EU, though. The smart approach to solving migration challenges really is securing the external borders of the EU, but for the time being Danish politicians seem satisfied as long as they can keep the migrants on the German side of the border.