No re-opening of Iraq war commission: Danish government

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No re-opening of Iraq war commission: Danish government
File photo: Morten Stricker/Midtjyske Medier/Ritzau Scanpix

The new Danish government will not be re-opening an official inquiry into the country’s 2003 decision to participate in the US-led military coalition in Iraq.


The commission was shut down by the previous government, led by the Liberal party, which was also in power in 2003 when then-prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen decided to send Danish troops to Iraq.

Social Democratic foreign minister Jeppe Kofod confirmed to DR on Monday that the new government did not intend to re-open the commission.

In opposition, the party’s leader Mette Frederiksen had advocated for the government to re-open the inquiry.

“The decision regarding Danish participation (in the Iraq war) goes back 15-20 years,” Kofod said to DR.

“We now have a historical account of the war, so we clearly have a good basis on which to look at what happened at the time,” Kofod said with reference to an academic report on Denmark's military engagements in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, which was published in February this year.

According to that report, the government at the time, a Liberal-Conservative coalition, was given information which stated there was no clear evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

But then-PM Rasmussen stated to parliament and to media that this was the case.

In 2012, the government – at that time, a left-wing coalition led by the Social Democrats – appointed a commission to scrutinize Denmark’s decision to join the US-led military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That commission was closed by the Liberal government in 2015, despite Social Democratic protestations.

The academic report which was eventually published this year was a replacement for the commission. That report made several criticisms of the decision to participate in the Iraq war.

Subsequently, left-wing parties including the Social Liberals, Red Green Alliance and Socialist People’s Party called for the commission to be reinstated. That eventuality has now been closed off by Kofod.

READ ALSO: Former Danish foreign minister denies 'streamlining' information on Iraq war



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