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Should the US buy Greenland?

Should the US buy Greenland?


Trump: Purchasing Greenland “Strategically Interesting.” (2019) 

President Trump on Sunday said buying Greenland is “strategically” interesting amid reported interest from the administration last week.

Speaking to reporters as he left his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, Trump acknowledged that purchasing the landmass owned by Denmark has been discussed. “Denmark essentially owns it. We’re very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world,” he said.

Trump added, “Strategically, it’s interesting, and we’d be interested, but we’ll talk to them a little bit. It’s not number one on the burner.” Trump has reportedly mulled attempting to buy the largest island in the world that is home to more than 50,000 people from Denmark, though no official inquiries have been made yet.

Trump compared buying the territory from Denmark to a “large real estate deal.”

Trump is thinking of buying a giant socialist island (2019). President Donald Trump is interested in buying Greenland, The Wall Street Journal reports. “In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland,” the paper says. And while one source speculated to the Journal that the president might be making a kind of joke—“Since Mr. Trump hadn’t floated the idea at a campaign rally yet, he probably isn’t seriously considering it”—the paper also reports that Trump has asked White House lawyers to investigate.

This plan faces, shall we say, an immediate logistical hurdle: Greenland is not for sale. Denmark, which forcibly colonized Greenland’s residents in the 18th century, now governs the island as a semiautonomous territory, and isn’t too keen to part with its large Arctic asset. In addition to any sentimental attachment the Danes have to Greenland, the island—the world’s largest—makes otherwise dinky Denmark much more geopolitically important, allowing it to attend gatherings of the Arctic Council and the like. It also links Denmark to its Viking past.

And the decision is not even Denmark’s to make. Legally and morally, the island’s 56,000 residents—most of whom are ethnically Greenlandic Inuit—get to decide on any international union their state joins. And this morning, the office of Greenland’s foreign minister tweeted that the country was “open for business, not for sale.”

Trump wants to buy Greenland, so did the Truman administration (2019).

Should the United States buy Greenland from Denmark?

It’s something that President Trump has repeatedly asked his staff to explore in recent weeks, bewildering top aides. But he’s not the first to ponder the question, which was first floated in the 1860s, when a report commissioned by the State Department under President Andrew Johnson concluded that the icebound island’s abundance of fish and mineral resources could make it a valuable investment.

And in 1946, President Harry Truman’s administration went even further, offering to purchase Greenland from Denmark in exchange for $100 million in gold.

“People have forgotten about how important places like Greenland were in the Cold War,” said Ronald E. Doel, an associate professor of history at Florida State University and a co-editor of “Exploring Greenland: Cold War Science and Technology on Ice.”

What’s Behind Donald Trump’s Desire to Buy Greenland (2019).  Donald Trump has reportedly privately discussed the idea of purchasing Greenland from Denmark in a bid to expand U.S. territory.

The autonomous territory is part of Denmark but is physically part of the North American continent and sits between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans Although many will view the proposal as a joke Greenland is regarded as a strategically important to the U.S. The U.S. military’s Thule Air Base in Greenland is its northernmost installation and forms part of its nuclear early warning system. The arctic route it sits on is the shortest possible distance between Europe and North America.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was due to visit the regional capital Nuuk in May before the trip was cancelled due to the escalating tensions with Iran. The trip was reportedly to dicuss economic development and promoting long-term peace they are “concerned about activities of other nations, including China, that do not share these same commitments”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Why Denmark won’t sell-off Greenland (2019) 

Trump’s musings over Greenland are part of his larger tendency to see territory as a tradable commodity, particularly in dealing with the Middle East. During the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates, candidate Marco Rubio chastised candidate Trump for treating Palestinian aspirations for statehood as a “real estate deal.” Jared Kushner’s plan for Middle East peace relies on territorial exchanges between the Palestinians, Jordan and Egypt. Trump’s March tweet recognizing Israel’s control over the Golan paid little attention to the symbolic claims at stake.

This is a dangerous approach to territorial conflict. As recent events in Kashmir make clear, nations are still prepared to shed blood and treasure to secure national claims. Understanding the symbolic value of territory is key to managing this and any future territorial disputes.

In other words, Trump’s real estate approach to Greenland may be the tip of the melting iceberg.

Was China’s Arctic push behind Trump’s desire to buy Greenland?  (2019). US President Donald Trump’s reported wish to buy Greenland may have been rejected by Denmar , but it underscores the rapidly rising value of the massive, ice-covered island due to global warming and to China’s drive for an Arctic presence.

The accelerating polar ice melt has left sparsely populated Greenland, a self-governing part of Denmark, astride what are potentially major shipping routes and in the crosshairs of intensifying geopolitical competition between superpowers.

It also has untapped natural resources like oil, minerals and valuable rare earth elements that China, the United States and other major tech economies covet A Chinese government-backed group’s offer last year to build three new international airports on Greenland sparked alarms in Copenhagen and Washington. The Chinese plan was finally nixed in exchange for Danish funding and a pledge of support from the Pentagon.

History of US attempts to buy Greenland since 1947 (2019).


What will China do when the US owns Greenland? (2019). Donald Trump’s Greenland gambit will likely fail, but it represents just the sort of attitude and energy we need to overcome the global challenge from China.

Why America should absolutely buy Greenland (2019).  But there are other, more important strategic reasons for making Greenland a U.S. territory. (Anyone who has played Risk will know what I am talking about.) If you want to preserve the territorial integrity of the Americas, Greenland is an absolute must-have; at present, thanks to a Cold War-era treaty with the Danes, we have pretty much unfettered military access to the island. But, as in Latin America, the Chinese are buying their way in anyway. Only last year the Pentagon managed to shut down China’s attempt at financing three airports in the region. They aren’t going to stop. “We’re open for business, but not for sale,” Denmark’s foreign minister saidFriday. Under globalized capitalism, those are the same things.

All of these things have been recognized for a long time, which is why Trump is not the first person to propose buying the island. The U.S. State Department looked into it as early as 1867; Harry Truman offered Denmark $100 million for it in 1946. (What a perfect beginning that would have been to the Cold War.) As recently as 1996, buying Greenland, along with much of Canada and Baja, Mexico, was a cornerstone of Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign. Turning North America into a single multi-ethnic superstate — we could call it the “Empire of Guadalupe” — has always been our esoteric destiny. Nabbing Greenland would be an important step in the right direction.

Buying Grenland is a great idea (2019).As for the contemporary utility of purchasing Greenland, it has extraordinary strategic value. Through the U.S. Air Force base already present at Thule, Greenland offers critical intelligence capabilities to conduct satellite operations and to detect possible over-the-North-Pole nuclear missile launches from China or Russia. Thule better allows the U.S. to warn its citizens of an imminent attack.

And it does more than that. Thanks to Thule’s deep water port and long runway, the base provides a logistics hub for operations in the Arctic. And it gives the U.S. military the means to deter and defeat prospective aggression. Russia, in particular, has been working to secure territorial control over resource-rich areas of the Arctic. America’s presence in Greenland is increasingly relevant for that reason.

The acquisition of Greenland would trump the Lousiana purchase (2019).

But, from a geographic perspective, it’s also astonishing just how drasticallyDonald Trump’s proposed acquisition of Greenland would redraw the U.S. map.

We’re pretty used to the nation’s current layout. But the acquisition of Greenland, the largest island in the world, would dramatically upend our view of what constitutes the United States. At 836,000 square miles, it would top the 828,000-square-mile Louisiana Purchase and become the largest expansion in American history.

Greenland is almost a quarter of the size of the entire United States. Assuming the administration could somehow create a legal framework to buy a self-governing country that’s not for sale, it would immediately become the largest state. It’s significantly larger than Alaska, and almost as big as the original 13 colonies combined.

Trump is interested in buying Greenland, but why? (2019) VIDEO


Can Trump actually buy Greenland? The short answers is no (2019).

Greenland isn’t Denmark’s to sell: Some essential readings for Trump on colonialism (2019).