US military base Keflavik in Iceland closing down

Keflavik in Iceland

No smoking sign in Iceland

On a world scale, only a small victory for anti-militarism and peace.

Yet, from Wikipedia:

During the 1960s and 1970s, many rallies were held to protest the U.S. presence in Iceland (and in particular in Keflavík) and every year hundreds, sometimes thousands, walked the 50 km road to Keflavík and chanted “Ísland úr NATO, herinn burt” (literally: Iceland out of NATO, the military away).

One of the better known participants was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who later became the first female president of Iceland.

As the picture here below from 2004 shows, these demonstrations definitely did not stop after the 1970s.

2004 anti-NATO demonstration, Keflavik

And now:

Naval Air Station Keflavik is the host Command for the NATO Base in Keflavík, Iceland.

The base is located on the Reykjanes peninsula on the south-west portion of the island. …

On 8 September 2006, NASKEF’s last commanding officer, CAPT Mark S. Laughton, presided over a ceremony effecting the disestablishment of the air station.

A reminder that success for pro peace actions sometimes may take long, but that it may come eventually.

Iceland and the Iraq war: here.

5 thoughts on “US military base Keflavik in Iceland closing down

  1. I served in Iceland for 3 years. It was a wonderful assignement and I found the land to be a beautiful yet rugged place. I understand people wanting to live in a peaceful world…but it must be remembered that peace comes at a price. And that price often times is simply being prepared. Iceland served a very key role in ending the Cold War between the world’s two super powers…the USSR and the USA. Now, I would ask one question…how do the good Icelandic people who worked on the NATO base for so long feel about loosing their jobs? I do not think that everyone in Iceland wanted the NATO base closed.


  2. Hi Steve, thanks for replying. I too was in Iceland and loved the nature there.

    The unemployment rate in Iceland, according to this source [in 2007], is 2.5%. Which is much lower than in the USA and most other countries. So, the people who lost their jobs at the Keflavik base probably found other jobs, or maybe voluntary early retirement, etc.

    As the Vietnam war, and now the Iraq war, with according to John Hopkins University (see elsewhere in this blog) now over 600,000 dead, show, in practice the “peace comes at a price” viewpoint may hide a reality which is not as pretty as the rhetoric.


  3. i was stationed with the IADF for a year in 1954 in the usaf ihad a good time and met a lot of nice people. almost every sat or sunday i was at the blue front in downtown reyjavik. after my year was over i was glad to get back to the states,and back to our farms


  4. Pingback: Kenya’s wildebeest migration, and the six other new Wonders of the World | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Icelandic whale meat exports to Japan | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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