Greenland, A New U.S. Alaska?

Tiberiu Dianu
Aug 17 · 8 min read

Greenland, with a population of only 56,000 inhabitants, is the world’s largest island and an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 1985, Greenland left the European Economic Community (EEC) upon achieving self-rule, as it did not agree with the EEC’s commercial fishing regulations.

In 2009, the territory gained self-rule with provisions for assuming responsibility for self-government of judicial affairs, policing, and natural resources. Denmark maintains control of foreign affairs and defense matters. Denmark upholds the annual block grant of 3.2 billion Danish kroner, but as Greenland begins to collect revenues of its natural resources, the grant will gradually be diminished. This is considered to be a step toward eventual full independence from Denmark.

The United States’ interest in Greenland is not new. In 1867, secretary of state William Seward, then of Andrew Johnson administration, showed interest in purchasing Greenland and Iceland from Denmark. He also negotiated the Alaska Purchase with the Russian Empire for $7.2 million, which was finalized on March 30, 1867. Seward was an ardent expansionist. In the summer of the same year, he was negotiating with Denmark for the acquisition of St. Thomas and St. John (of today’s U.S. Virgin Islands), but the treaty, although agreed to, was never effected.

When it was finalized in January 1917, the selling price was $25 million (the equivalent to $575.61 million in 2018 dollars). In March 1917, the United States took possession of the islands.

As for Greenland, its connection to Denmark was severed early in World War II, when in April 1940 Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany. In April 1941, the United States occupied Greenland to defend it against the invasion by Germany. The U.S. occupation of Greenland lasted until 1945. In 1946, the United States developed a geopolitical interest in Greenland and offered to buy the island from Denmark for $100 million.

https://web.archive.org/web/20100107010850/http://www.nationalreview.com/nr_comment/nr_comment050701b.shtml

However, Denmark refused to sell it.

The United States remains highly interested in investing in the resource base of Greenland. In 1950, Denmark agreed to allow the United States to re-establish Thule Air Base, which was expanded between 1951 and 1953 as part of a unified NATO Cold War defense strategy. The treaty between the United States and Denmark has been used by both U.S. Air Force Space command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Thule Air Base is the U.S. military’s northernmost base, located about 750 miles (over 1,207 kilometers) above the Arctic Circle and includes a ballistic missile radar station. The radar and listening post features a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System that can warn of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and reaches thousands of miles into Russian territory.

President Donald Trump has brought up buying Greenland from Denmark on multiple occasions, and the White House counsel’s office has looked into the possibility. The president’s interest in buying Greenland was first reported on August 15, 2019, by The Wall Street Journal, which mentioned that Trump has raised the issue during meetings and dinners, sometime this past spring, asking aides and listening seriously about the possibility and advantages of owning Greenland. He expressed interest in the idea and had questions about the island’s military and research potential.

According to the same sources, Trump told associates he had been advised to look into buying Greenland because Denmark faced financial trouble from supporting the territory. Denmark is struggling to provide financial assistance every year to the 56,000-person territory, valued at $591 million in subsidies.

There might be also other reasons — for instance, the reason to want total dominion over Greenland in order to gain the power to exclude China. China has also expressed interest in the island for an Atlantic base that would put it on America’s and Europe’s doorstep.

In 2017, Denmark blocked a Chinese attempt to buy an abandoned naval base there, but the Chinese mining interests in the area are expanding.

China plays a long game and its interest for the Arctic region is notorious.

So, the United States has two possibilities to keep the Chinese out: either to rely on the loyalty of the governments of Denmark and Greenland (as Beijing throws more money around), or — why not? — to acquire Greenland and tell the Chinese to scram.

Advisers have said Trump sees purchasing Greenland as equivalent to the 1867 acquisition of Alaska. The purchase would be a potential legacy-builder for Trump, similar to President Dwight Eisenhower’s statehood for Alaska. Buying Greenland would bring the president the glory of adding an 836,330-square-mile (2.1 million square kilometers) island to the United States. This gives him a legacy that neither President Harry Truman’s nor President Andrew Jackson’s administrations could claim after their failed attempts to buy Greenland from Denmark.

Coincidentally (or not), the president will be making his first visit to Denmark in September 2019.

This is an extremely fascinating topic to watch for its development.


NOTE — Versions of the article were published in:

AMERICAN THINKER (El Cerrito/San Francisco, California) [175+ comments]

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CARIBBEAN NEWS GLOBAL (Brooklyn/New York City, New York) [700+ views; comments]

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CONSERVATIVE READ (Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona) [ comments]

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INTELLECTUAL CONSERVATIVE (Phoenix, Arizona) [4 comments]

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MARIANAS VARIETY (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) [6 comments]

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MEDIUM (San Francisco, California) [100+ views; 4 comments; 50+ likes]

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SAIPAN TRIBUNE (Garapan/Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) [ comments]

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and featured in:

320ro.com (Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) [ comments]

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ACCENT (Toronto, Canada) [in Romanian] [ comments]

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AFRO-CONSCIOUS MEDIA (Canada; Long Beach, California) [ comments]

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ALTERNATIVA/THE ALTERNATIVE (Toronto, Canada) (_________ 2018) [in Romanian] [NOTE = scroll down on the journal’s home page to get the article and then press OPEN on the article]

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BLUNT FORCE TRUTH (Detroit, Michigan) [ comments]

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BURNING PLATFORM [8 comments]

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CARIBBEAN POST (Santiago, Dominican Republic) [ comments]

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CLICK ROMANIA (London, United Kingdom) [in Romanian] [4 comments]

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CURENTUL INTERNAŢIONAL/INTERNATIONAL CURRENT (Sterling Heights/Detroit, Michigan) [in Romanian] [4 comments]

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FIWEH (Okinawa, Japan) [ comments]

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FREE REPUBLIC (Fresno, California) [50 comments]

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GÂNDACUL DE COLORADO/THE COLORADO BEETLE (Estes Park/Denver, Colorado) [in Romanian] [200+ views; 4 comments]

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GOP BRIEFING ROOM [ + views; comments]

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LUCIANNE.COM (Cliffside Park, New Jersey) [15 comments]

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MENAFN (Amman, Jordan)

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MERIDIANUL ROMÂNESC/THE ROMANIAN MERIDIAN (Santa Clarita/Los Angeles, California) [in Romanian]

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MEXICAN OCCUPATION

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MIORIŢA USA (Sacramento, California) [in Romanian]

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MORNING IN ARIZONA [4 comments]

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NAŢIUNEA/THE NATION (Bucharest, Romania) [in Romanian] [ comments]

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NEW YORK MAGAZIN/NEW YORK MAGAZINE (New York City, New York) [in Romanian] [4 comments]

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OBSERVATORUL/THE OBSERVER (Toronto, Canada) [in Romanian]

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OCCIDENTUL ROMÂNESC/ROMANIAN WEST (Madrid, Spain)

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PARADIGMS AND DEMOGRAPHICS (Cleveland, Ohio) [ comments]

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PROTECTORS OF LIBERTY (Mount Pleasant, Michigan) [ comments]

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QOSHE (Netherlands & Turkey)

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QWIKET (Kingston, New York) [ comments]

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ROMANIAN TIMES (Portland, Oregon) [in Romanian]

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ROMANIAN TIMES (Portland, Oregon) (print edition, pp. and ) [in Romanian]

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SAVE AMERICA FOUNDATION (Clearwater, Florida)

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TIMP ROMÂNESC/ROMANIAN TIME (Bucharest, Romania) [in Romanian] [ comments]

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TRIBUNA ROMÂNEASCĂ/ROMANIAN TRIBUNE (Chicago, Illinois) [in Romanian] [ comments]

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TRULY TIMES [ + views, comments]

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TRUMP’S MINUTEMEN (Fort Worth, Texas)

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US POLITICS 10z [ comments]

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and referenced in:

CENTRUL DE PRESĂ — PRESSPEDIA/THE PRESS CENTER — PRESSPEDIA (Bucharest, Romania) [in Romanian] [+ views]

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CURENTUL INTERNAŢIONAL/INTERNATIONAL CURRENT — FACEBOOK (Sterling Heights/Detroit, Michigan) [in Romanian]

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LIBERAL FORUM

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MUCK RACK (New York, New York)

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OBAMA LIES

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PRESS RUSH (Turku, Finland)

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WND [13 comments]

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ZENITH NEWS (Duluth, Minnesota)

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NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS = 19

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Tiberiu Dianu

Written by

TIBERIU DIANU has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, DC.

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