When I read the story of Col. Lars Møller — the Danish tank commander in Bosnia who was willing to break the rules and actually shoot back at the enemy — it made me I realize that the Danes are the kind of guys you want covering your back when you’re in a tight spot.
Since the beginning of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Danish troops have been assisting the United States and its allies with military operations in those countries. There isn’t a whole lot of coverage in the media about it, but the Danes are right there in the thick of it with the USA and the UK — not just handing out candy and painting schools like some of our NATO partners, but actually fighting and winning battles.
And also taking casualties. For such a small country, Denmark has had to bear a heavy burden of wounded and killed.
But that’s not stopping the Danes, and they aren’t going to pull out of Afghanistan. According to The Copenhagen Post:
Minister: We stay in Afghanistan
Despite the death of another Danish soldier the Defence Minister was adamant that Denmark will remain in Afghanistan indefinitely
Another Danish soldier was killed Monday during an intense battle with Taleban forces in the unstable Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, reports Politiken newspaper.
The death brings the total number of Danes killed in Afghanistan since 2002 to 14, but ten of those have occurred in the last six months. Denmark now has the highest percentage of soldiers that have lost their lives in Afghanistan when considering a country’s population.
Søren Gade, the defence minister, said that while he was deeply sorry for the losses, it was necessary for Denmark to remain in Afghanistan and help the civilian population overcome the effects of Taleban rule.
‘Even one death is too many, but we’re not running away,’ he said. ‘Our mission is not in jeopardy.’
The Social Democrats, Danish People’s Party and Conservatives are concerned that Denmark is pulling more than its share of the weight in the Asian country and want other Nato member states to increase their dispatch of troops to the area.
Estimating that the population of the United States is sixty times that of Denmark, fourteen deaths for the Danes would be roughly the same as 840 for us. It’s not an insignificant number.
I wanted to post a breakdown by country of casualties in Afghanistan, but I couldn’t find one. I did, however, locate a table of casualties in Iraq broken out by country. It was from a site called “iCasualties”, and I’m not going to link it, because Google has it flagged as a malware-containing site (I was forced to use a stratagem to get the data table out of it — I downloaded the page without opening it, stripped all the scripts out of the source HTML, and then opened it locally in order to copy the table).
This is a list of the number killed for each country with more than one combat death in Iraq (there were five countries with just one, but I left them out to make the table and graphs simpler):
– – – – – – – – –
The right-hand column weights the numbers for each country — that is, what the casualty rate would be if the country in question had the same population as the USA.
Here’s a graph of the actual number killed for each country:
And this shows the weighted figures:
Notice that after the USA and the UK, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Denmark have the highest casualty rates. That is, the former communists and the Vikings are the countries outside the Anglosphere who bear the heaviest burdens. Not France, not Germany, not Italy, nor any other part of “Old Europe”.
Except for Denmark.
It reminded me of the breakdown by country of Gates of Vienna’s Alexa traffic rankings that I posted about this time last year. As you may recall, proportionally speaking, Denmark supplied the largest amount of traffic at our blog.
Could there be a connection between the behavior of the stalwart Danish soldiers and the browsing habits of our stalwart Danish readers?
An investigation of last night’s Alexa traffic report revealed some interesting results:
|United Arab Emirates||1.0%||6.0%|
Notice how the lack of Obama coverage has reduced our American traffic. And notice that our Danish visitors make up an absolute 20.3% of our readership.
Here’s the graph:
But now look at the weighted percentages:
Proportionally speaking, the Danes account for more than half of our traffic.
And our fellow countrymen contribute a mere 1%. If we know what’s good for us, we’d better start boning up on Obama and Hillary.
But seriously — what’s going on here? It can’t be just because we’re such big Danophiles at Gates of Vienna, and display pictures of Holger Danske, and write puff pieces about Dronning Margrethe.
There must be more to it than that.
To have so many Danish readers we must be on the same wavelength as the Vikings. For some peculiar reason, we seem to think like Danes.
Is there a cure for that?
Hat tip: TB.