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From Military Jets to Snipers, Icelanders—Who Live in World's Most Peaceful Country—Shocked by All the Guns Surrounding Mike Pence

"Americans intended to give every Reykjavik citizen a paralyzing drug during Pence's visit," joked a satirical Icelandic newspaper

Vice President Mike Pence meets Iceland's President Gudni Th Johannesson at Hofdi House in Reykjavik on September 4, 2019. (Photo: Jeremie Richard/AFP/Getty Images)

High-powered military jets. Armed guards. Snipers on rooftops. Bomb-sniffing dogs.

Those were just some of the components of the security arsenal that accompanied U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Wednesday during his official visit to Iceland, a nation the Global Peace Index has ranked as the most peaceful nation in the world for 11 consecutive years.

As such, Pence's heavily militarized security detail was reportedly met with shock in Iceland. The Associated Press reported that "Pence's arrival in Iceland with military jets and armed personnel set eyes popping."

The size and intensity of Pence's security detail drew mockery from satirical Icelandic newspaper Fréttirnar, which joked that "Americans intended to give every Reykjavik citizen a paralyzing drug during Pence's visit."

Ahead of Pence's arrival in Iceland, AP reported, U.S. Secret Service agents "spent weeks scouting locations" and "three CV-22B Osprey flew over southwestern Iceland, along with two C-130 Hercules and one Lockheed C-5 Galaxy."


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Pence, a notoriously anti-LGBTQ politician, was greeted during his drive to meet Iceland President Gudni Johannesson on Wednesday by a row of rainbow gay pride flags that Advania technology company displayed in anticipation of the vice president's visit.

It was not the only time Pence drew public scorn and ridicule during his overseas trip.

Pence traveled to Iceland days after his highly controversial trip to Ireland, during which the vice president drew scrutiny for staying at a Trump-owned hotel at the president's request.

In a column for the Irish Times Tuesday, Miriam Lord said the U.S. vice president's visit was "like pulling out all the stops for a much-anticipated visitor to your home and thinking it has been a great success until somebody discovers he shat on the new carpet in the spare room, the one you bought specially for him."

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