The Democratic Party of the United States openly mocked former US President Donald Trump’s suggestion in 2019 that he intended to buy Greenland. It revealed the United States’ keen strategic interest in the island, which is a self-governing Danish territory. The Trump administration was nothing like the first to inquire about purchasing the island. In 1946, President Harry Truman indicated an interest in purchasing the island for $100 million in gold, and previous attempts to purchase the island date back to 1867.
Nonetheless, the same Democrats are now preparing to construct a military facility in the northern part of the island.
Terms and conditions between the US and Greenland
With the start of the Cold War, the US military began to see the northern states as a front line of defense against the Soviet Union. And Greenland served right to the US and its allies.
Greenland is a remote, barren part of Denmark’s lightly populated country, with a population of over 57,000 people. It was a colony until 1953, then became a semi-autonomous entity after winning independence in 1979. It has significant autonomy and has a say in most matters, yet it is primarily reliant on Copenhagen’s annual locked subsidies. Greenland is still part of Denmark, but the 1951 treaty gave the US significant influence over the world’s largest island, despite mounting calls for total independence from various political groups.
The Thule Air Base, located halfway between Moscow and New York, was built in complete secrecy by the US military in 1951 under the code name ‘Blue Jay.’
It is the US Space Force’s northernmost base and is connected to a global network of missile warning and space surveillance sensors. The Allies had built weather stations in Greenland and Canada during the war, but the US now desired an airbase that could be used to intercept bomber strikes from the northeast, as well as a refueling hub for long-range bombers aimed at the Soviet Union.. Lately, as some reports suggest that billions of dollars will be spent in the Arctic, including to upgrade the Thule base facility established in Greenland by the US.
Greenland unaware of the US’s motives
The facility has degraded and damaged infrastructure that the US has recently expressed interest in improving, according to a report in the newspaper from the US Air Force. However, both Greenlandic authorities and the Danish parliament affirmed that they are unaware of the US’s exact plans.
Pipaluk Lynge Rasmussen, the chairman of the Greenland Parliament’s Foreign and Security Policy Committee and a member of the ruling IA, had never heard of an upgrading proposal.
Also, the Greenland Commission and Greenland’s representative in Denmark, IAMP Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, highlighted the significance of keeping the Greenlandic government informed.
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However, under the terms of an existing agreement between the US, Greenland, and Denmark, Washington must confer with and notify the Danish and Greenlandic governments when significant changes in US military operations in Greenland occur. But the Biden administration has failed to do so. Furthermore, the Greenlandic government has frequently requested that the US remove 30 rusted military stations due to the possibility of radioactive and chemical leakage in recent years. But the demand has gone unheard by the US.
Nonetheless, tensions between the two countries have been escalating since Trump proposed buying Greenland, leading to a canceled state visit. And now, rumors of a revived military base being built on the island without the knowledge of the Greenlandic government are threatening to sever ties between the two.
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