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.