Will The U.S. Buy Greenland?

The U.S. buying Greenland is an idea that went mainstream during the Trump presidency. Lampooned by some in the media, the purchase of Greenland by the United States is not as crazy as it sounds. Reviewing the history of the island, its strategic importance, and our military presence shows an almost natural progression for Greenland to become part of the USA. Not only is the idea of annexing Greenland catching on in the mainstream but it’s value toward our country cannot be understated. Here at Wild West Trail we support the acquisition of Greenland and we hope our rationale laid out below helps you come to a similar conclusion. 

Will The U.S. Buy Greenland?

Donald Trump Buying Greenland

In the summer of 2019 Donald Trump made headlines when he went public with his desire to buy Greenland from Denmark. His statements immediately drew ridicule from the media and it’s unfortunate how quickly the conversation of buying Greenland was shut down. Trump’s own personality is a distraction from the real issue at hand – should the U.S. buy Greenland? Before you dismiss the idea as a crazy Trump tweet, let’s review America’s history with the island. Trump is not the first American to float this idea and he won’t be the last.

A Quick History of Greenland and The United States of America

Check out this fast facts list of important dates and events tying America to Greenland:

  • 1917 United States buys the Danish West Indies and renames them to the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • 1920 U.S. General Billy Mitchell advocates for Air Force bases on Greenland
  • 1941 United States occupies Greenland to defend the island from Nazi incursion. The exiled Danish government agreed to the occupation
  • 1951 Denmark and the United States sign a treaty giving the U.S. exclusive jurisdiction of defense over Greenland
  • 1952 The United States builds Thule Air Force base on Greenland
  • 1989 The Soviet Union collapses and American interest in Greenland fades
  • 2012-2017 Chinese investment makes up 11.5% of Greenland’s GDP
  • 2019 Pressure from China in the arctic has re-ignited American interest in Greenland
  • 2020 The Trump administration re-opens the American consulate in Greenland and grants the island $12.1 million

Greenland’s strategic importance in the Arctic ocean makes the island incredibly important for the United States. Close to Moscow via the North Pole and nearly halfway between Europe and Canada, whoever controls Greenland, controls the arctic. With the increasing Chinese influence in Greenland, it’s only a matter of time until the United States finalizes its claims or lets Greenland slip into CCP control. 

The Allure Of The Greenland Economy

Most Americans picture Greenland as a “frozen wasteland” devoid of any resources and economic interest. The reality cannot be further from this misconception. Greenland is a rich land of oceans and freshwater. Her mineral wealth is barely explored, her oceans are rich with fish and Greenland’s importance in arctic shipping routes grows with every ice-free summer. Greenland is a cornucopia of opportunity for the United States which needs to act fast to keep Greenland within reach for future Americans. 

Greenland’s Land

Second only in size to Antarctica’s ice sheet, Greenland boasts the Northern Hemisphere’s largest expanse of ice. The massive ice sheet covers 80% of Greenland which leaves 166,800 square miles of land not covered in ice – slightly larger than California. While mostly ice, Greenland’s reputation of a frozen wasteland is not founded on reality. 

Greenland’s Population 

With only 57,000 permanent residents, Greenland is the least inhabited autonomous region on Earth. Over 88% of the population are local inuit people. Most people live on the western coast of the island where more landmass exists. The capital Nuuk is home to ⅓ the population and it sits on a beautiful fjord in the arctic ocean. 

Greenland’s Fish

Currently, the most valuable commodity in Greenland is fish. Before you dismiss it, it’s important to note that the world’s fisheries are in steep decline. The globe’s massive population combined with China’s insatiable appetite and large fishing fleet makes fish one of the most valuable resources on the planet. China consumes over 2 million tons of fish a year! The United States isn’t even in the top 10 of fish consumers and we have over 300 million people! Greenland’s rich oceans are one of the world’s last reserves of fish. Under American sovereignty, Greenland’s oceans will have a brighter future than the CCP can offer. 

Greenland’s Shipping Routes

It’s long been known that the fastest route from Asia to Europe is through the Arctic Ocean. Only in recent years have the ice free summers allowed such a passage. Greenland’s arctic proximity makes her the most valuable island for arctic shipping. The world will only continue to transport more and more goods and if America wants to maintain a competitive edge, we will control the waters around Greenland. 

Greenland’s Mineral Resources

Don’t be fooled by the ice, Greenland is one the the richest lands in the world. We compiled a brief overview of the riches already discovered: 

  • Diamonds
  • Rubies
  • Topaz
  • Sapphire
  • Anorthite
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Zinc
  • Iron Ore

Not only is Greenland being mined for valuable metals and minerals but, you guessed it, GREENLAND HAS OIL. Not just a little bit either, but a lot. The US Geological Survey projects the Greenland Sea contains 110 billion barrels of oil, enough to power the United States for 15 years – and that’s only what they have discovered thus far! We have barely tapped Greenland for mineral resources. What’s more, uranium is being actively mined. The wealth that exists in Greenland has the potential to fuel the US Economy for decades, if not hundreds of years. 

How Big Is Greenland

Still not onboard the Greenland train? Let’s offer up a comparison of Greenland to another Arctic “wasteland” acquired by the United States – Alaska. You would be hard-pressed to find an American not proud of having Alaska as part of the United States. Alaska is absolutely giant, larger than Texas and California combined, it is the largest state in the country and has a population of over 700,000. Greenland, by comparison, is 47% larger than Alaska! Take a look at the image below to truly understand the scale described:

From north to south, Greenland is longer than the eastern seaboard of the United States. From west to east, it stretches further than the distance from Duluth, MN to Maine. Greenland is the world’s largest island and it eclipses Alaska. If the United States buys Greenland, we would only be second to Russia as the world’s largest country. 

The United States Needs To Purchase Greenland

Many arguments against the acquisition of Greenland rely on the viewpoint that America’s “imperialism” is morally reprehensible. It is a mindset that sees the U.S. as inherently “evil” not worthy of extending our national sovereignty. To these people we say, America is not perfect but it’s the best we have. America is the only country on earth that celebrates diversity in her population. America is the only country on earth that is in a constant conversation about her morals and what she stands for. No other nation on this planet has done more for the advancement of people, women, and folks of all ethnicities and backgrounds. America represents the ability for any person, no matter their color or creed, to create success for themselves. 

Greenland offers a new frontier for Americans to build their life. An adventure to captivate the hearts and souls of all Americans. It is a canvas of opportunity, ready for the strong and brave individuals that call themselves Americans to make their claim. Greenland provides the backdrop for America’s 21st century, it is the American dream.  

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