arctic_blog

Why little Greenland is turning into an object of great US ambitions

 The  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed with Danish Foreign  Minister Eppe Kufood and Anne Lone Bagger, the head of the Foreign  Ministry of Greenland, the prospect of creating an American consulate in  Greenland. Negotiations took place in Washington on November 14. 

 According to the sources of the authoritative publication Foreign  Policy, the  American consulate can open in Greenland already in 2020,  at least seven diplomats will be working in the consulate. Before, the  United States had already opened diplomatic missions in Greenland in  1940 during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. It lasted until 1953, after  which it was closed. Now the United States decided to reanimate it.

 However, the fact of a visit by representatives of the Danish and  Greenland diplomats to Washington (as well as the US proposal to create  its own consulate) is puzzling. Indeed, until recently, American  President Donald Trump announced his desire to acquire Greenland, which  is currently part of Denmark, in the ownership of the United States.

 As expected, Trump's provocative statement caused a wave of indignation  among the Danes. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called the idea  “absurd,” saying the island was “not for sale.” MP Aya Kemnitz Larsen  spoke in the same vein, saying that the island “is not an object of  sale”. And the representative of the Danish People’s Party, Søren  Jespersen, completely considered the American president crazy. “If it’s  true that the US president is working on this idea, then this is the  final proof that he’s crazy. I would say this: the idea that Denmark can  sell 50,000 of its citizens to the United States is absolutely crazy,”  said the politician. Trump's official militant rhetoric of Copenhagen is  understandable, did not like.
Moreover, so much so that the head  of the White House noted the previously planned state visit to this  country, substantiating his decision with the reluctance of the Danish  prime minister to discuss this issue.

The Americans have already  twice tried to buy Greenland. At first - in 1867. True, then the States  wanted to acquire not only Greenland, but also Iceland. However, the  deal did not reach the conclusion of the transaction. The second attempt  was made by the then US President Harry Truman in 1946 - he offered $  100 million for it. However, the Danes were adamant both then and now,  like the Norwegian Fords.

Apparently, it was this fact that made  the head of the White House take a “political pause” and consider a  further strategy for action. Greenland's acquisition plans have by no  means disappeared. The United States simply decided to act more  diplomatically. “President Donald Trump’s administration plans to open a  US consulate in Greenland amid Washington’s growing economic and  strategic interest in this island,” the authors of the publication on  the Associated Press say. And the State Department itself does not hide  its political ambitions, saying that the idea of ​​opening a consulate  in Greenland is part of a plan to expand the presence of the United  States in the Arctic region. This, in particular, is stated in the  letter of the State Department to the US Congress, which was at the  disposal of the agency.

Such a keen interest in the United States  in small Greenland is due to at least two reasons. The first is  economic. In the bowels of the island are concentrated up to 50 billion  barrels of proven reserves of the Arctic shelf. And global warming,  which international ecologists have stated with enviable regularity,  potentially facilitates the access of subpolar states to mineral  deposits on the northern islands. In this case, of particular value to  the Americans, according to the oldest Danish newspaper Berlingske, are  rare earth metals (gold, copper, palladium, uranium), which are used in  electronics. “Americans fear the Chinese embargo on their supply to the  United States due to a trade war. That's why Trump is so interested in  Greenland, ”the authors of the publication claim.

The second (but  by no means significant) weighty competitor for the United States in  the Arctic is Russia. Even American experts admit that Moscow is  “beating” Washington in the “Arctic race.” According to The National  Interest analysts, Russia is investing more and more in the development  of territories located beyond the Arctic Circle.

ndeed, Russia is  building military camps using the latest technology, reconstructing  Arctic airfields mothballed in Soviet times, and conducting regular  exercises. At the same time, Russian troops demonstrate their readiness  for the harsh conditions of the Arctic. But the Americans, alas, do not  possess such skills that last year’s teachings “The Single Trident” and  the sensational story about the American submarine Hartford stuck in the  Arctic ice demonstrated full glory. At the same time, the most  significant “trump card” of Russia in the development of the Arctic  remains the nuclear icebreaker fleet, which has no analogues in any  country in the world. At present, it includes 6 icebreakers, as well as  about 20 diesel vessels for various purposes. However, in the very near  future, the Russian Federation will update its icebreaking fleet. At the  moment, sea trials of the new-generation Arctic icebreaker, which  weighs about 33 thousand tons, are nearing completion. In parallel, an  icebreaker of the project 10510 Leader is being developed, which risks  completely justifying its name. It will become the heaviest icebreaker  in the world (its weight will be about 71,380 tons), capable of breaking  through many-meter Arctic ice.

But the United States, unlike  Russia, has absolutely nothing to boast of - at the disposal of the  Americans there is only one active icebreaker - Polar Star, put into  operation in the 1970s, which has already exhausted its resource. The  Americans, of course, declare the construction of new icebreakers, but  so far no concrete steps have been taken in this direction.

 However, Washington still does not abandon attempts to “challenge the  Arctic” of Russia. In this regard, Greenland is acquiring not only  economic, but also strategic importance for the United States. The Thule  Air Base is located on the island since the Second World War. It is  extremely important for the Pentagon, because it has a powerful radar  that allows you to track missile launches, including from the territory  of Russia.

Finally, Donald Trump’s purely political ambitions  should not be discounted, since the purchase of Greenland will allow him  to go down in American history - along with his predecessors Andrew  Johnson and Thomas Jefferson, who acquired American Russian property in  Alaska and French Louisiana. The fame of a land collector would  certainly overshadow the highly controversial achievements of the  presidential career of the current head of the White House, glorifying  him for centuries.

However, he is unlikely to succeed in doing  this. Currently, the amount of debt the US government owes to other  states is $ 21.5 trillion. This amount is not decreasing, but, on the  contrary, is growing. The “hole” in the annual budget of the country is  already one trillion dollars, and you have to cover the costs with  borrowed funds. It turns out that the United States simply does not have  money to buy Greenland. But there are exorbitant ambitions and the  desire to turn the cold Arctic into a new “hot spot” of the planet.

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