US Army training in Iceland in June 1943

Ástandið (Icelandic: "the condition" or "the situation") is a term used about the influence British and American soldiers had on Icelandic women during World War II. At its peak the population of foreign soldiers was equal to that of Icelandic men. Many of the foreign soldiers would court Icelandic women and estimates of the number of local women who married foreign soldiers goes into the hundreds. Such interaction between Icelandic women and foreign troops was not always well received and the women involved were often accused of prostitution and betraying their home country. Children born from such unions are known in Icelandic as ástandsbörn ("children of the condition/situation").

When the British invaded Iceland in 1940, people gathered on the streets to see the troops and the fact that many young Icelandic girls were captivated by them did not go unnoticed. Immediately discussions began over what effect this would have and minimal interaction with British forces was encouraged, but this proved to be difficult as many Icelanders had jobs in some way connected to the troops. A committee was formed which produced a damning report on the soldiers, which shed light on widespread prostitution amongst the troops. Some sources suggested that girls as young as twelve years old were involved in prostitution.[1] The Icelandic authorities tried unsuccessfully to reduce the soldiers' encounters with Icelandic girls but with time the issue lapsed and was no longer part of the current affairs. The soldiers went home with the conclusion of the war in 1945.

US troops returned to Iceland in 1951 as part of the Iceland Defense Force during the Cold War. In order to reassure Icelandic authorities, the troops were quarantined in the Keflavík Air Base, which remained in operation until 2006.

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  1. ^ Anna MelsteП & JСn Karl Helgason. "Dansleikur М klЗbbi herlЖgreglunnar". Servefir.ruv.is. Retrieved 2016-07-05.