Chapter 4 - Defence by Patrons and Partners. Protections offered by to states by 
alliances. 
Liechtenstein and Tuvalu are two states that have used the existing global order to go it alone 
and secure their interests by non-military means, but not every state feels that it has the right 
strategic circumstances to do this. Some states feel that their strategic situation requires an 
insurance policy of armed force to be available in extremis. This has resulted in a number of 
small states developing alliance and arrangements with larger states to provide for their 
security needs without having to maintain military forces themselves. This has been done 
through membership of collective security arrangements with other armed states or bilateral 
arrangements with a larger armed power. In both cases the unarmed state has to have 
something strategic, symbolic or tangible to give in return for the blood and treasure of another 
state to be used in its defence’. The participation in these alliances can also be used as a tool 
of statecraft to secure unilateral interests particularly in asymmetric bargaining with larger 
powers. 
Iceland 
Iceland has chosen the alliance path towards security as a member of NATO, but unlike every 
other member of NATO, Iceland possesses no military forces. Iceland has the capacity to 
police its land and maritime domains and maintain situational awareness of its air domain. For 
all other forms of defence Iceland relies on NATO members to provide forces and capacity. 
Iceland's unarmed status has been the case since it declared its independence from Denmark 
during the Second World War". To hold its strategically vital territory in support of allied 
attempts to secure Atlantic and Arctic shipping routes, Iceland was invaded by Britain and met 
no resistance. With Denmark having no ability to rule while being occupied by Germany the 
Icelandic Parliament, the Althing, took over control of foreign policy and in 1944, Iceland was 
declared a republic"? 
After the war allied forces left but in the absence of their own military forces and with a view to 
the Soviet Union tightening its grip on Eastern Europe, Iceland agreed to join NATO in 1949. 
This decision caused significant internal unrest in Iceland where the long held principle of 
  
3 Dannreuther, 113-116. 
7$ International Institute for Strategic Studies, 108. 
7 Central Intelligence Agency, 395. 
7? Baldur Porhallsson, What features determine mall states' activities in the international 
arena? Iceland's approach to foreign relations until the mid-1990's, Stjórnmál og 
Stjómsysla, (Autumn 2005, Vol.1(1)), 114.
        

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