Recent announcements from the Trump administration have revealed what would seem to many to be a startling proposition, which is that Trump appears to be attempting to purchase the Danish territory of Greenland:
Maybe instead of a library (he was never much of a reader), President Trump is hoping to build a presidential memorial golf course instead. Whatever the reason, WSJ reports that President Trump has expressed interest in buying the island of Greenland, and has discussed the prospect with several senior officials in his administration.
Of course, Greenland’s name is famously a misnomer: the frigid island is situated between the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, and is covered in snow during most of the year. In other words, not exactly the ideal location for a memorial golf course.
But Greenland is a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark with a population of about 56,000. Incidentally, President Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark early next month, and, although the visit is unrelated, the people of Greenland have been joking that Trump is coming to see about buying their island.
As it turns out, it wasn’t a joke. At a dinner with associates last spring, two WSJ sources said Trump recounted that someone had told him at a roundtable that Denmark was having financial trouble over its assistance to Greenland, and suggested that he should consider buying the island
“What do you guys think about that?” Trump asked the room, the person said. “Do you think it would work?”
The person described the question less as a serious inquiry and more as a joke meant to indicate “I’m so powerful I could buy a country,” the WSJ goes on to note – even though the same WSJ reports that Trump’s purchasing intention was serious enough to merit top page one placement – noting that since Trump hadn’t floated the idea at a campaign rally yet, he probably isn’t seriously considering it. The person believed the president was interested in the idea because of the island’s natural resources and because it would give him a legacy akin to former President Dwight Eisenhower ’s admission of Alaska into the U.S. as a state.
There is also – not surprisingly – a race for supremacy with China over the island’s future. So far, Washington has prevented Beijing from financing three airports on Greenland that would give it a toehold on the strategically important island – which is also the world’s largest by square mileage – something the US military refuses to risk. And though it has vast natural resources across its 811,000 square miles, Greenland relies on $591 million of subsidies from Denmark annually, which makes up about 60% of its annual budget.
To be fair to Trump, US interest in owning Greenland dates back more than a century. After WWII, Harry Truman offered Denmark $100 million for the island which, though it’s technically part of North America, is culturally European. The Kingdom refused. The State Department also explored buying Greenland and Iceland in 1867, but nothing came of it.
It would be a funny coincidence if, after making his name as a developer on Manhattan, perhaps the world’s most famous island, Trump cemented his legacy as a president by buying Greenland, the world’s biggest island. (source, source)
Greenland’s history with Denmark goes back to Viking settlements from Iceland and Norway, both areas under heavy Danish influence, from the 10th century. Danish rule over her was not formally and directly administered until 1721, and the island has remained with the nordic nation since.
Trump has done many strange things, but attempting to purchase Greenland is not one of them. The US has attempted before to purchase the island, and the reason is because of a pattern of the militarization of the Arctic region that is currently taking place in Russia.
As stated before, much of the Third World War will involve a conflict between the US and Russia that has been prepared for some time by the governments of the west. As such, the US is looking to, by any means necessary, isolate and contain Russia so that she can be more easily attacked. This is part of the current strategy taking place in the Middle East as well as with the support of nationalist movements in China and Central Asia.
Another major reason for the militarization of the Arctic is the prevalence of natural resources in that area both for the US as well as for Russia. If one looks up “closed cities“, one will notice that many of such cities are in Russia, but those which are in Russia have many locations around or north of the Arctic Circle. One of the largest of such places in Norilsk, a major mining town in Krasnoyarsk Krai that produces a large amount of Platinum, Platinum related metals, and Nickel. As I wrote in July 2018, the largest producer of Platinum is South Africa. Russia is the second largest, with a great amount of their resources coming from Norilsk.
Norilsk is just one city. The amount of resources which are believed to be under the Arctic region as well as those which are known is tremendous, and given that the US knows she is going to war as well as sees there is money to be made, does not want to be left out of the picture.
It will be unlikely that Trump does buy Greenland, but it is possible that there will be an increased US military presence there, and perhaps a renegotiation of treaties. Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens in September.