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Why Greenland is strategically valuable to the U.S.

Posted: 4:17 PM, Aug 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-16 16:17:17-04

President Trump has reportedly brought up the idea of purchasing Greenland.   But, in response to the news, the island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted, “we're open for business, not for sale.”

So, while it looks like a deal will not happen, here are some reasons why Greenland has some strategic interest to the United States.

Greenland is the world’s largest island with a population of under 60,000 people. Though it has its own autonomous government, it is a territory of Denmark. According to the BBC, Denmark is responsible for about two thirds of Greenland’s revenue.

Greenland is strategic geographically and geopolitically. Though 80% of the island is covered in ice, it is rich in natural resources including oil, uranium, diamonds, gold and rare earth elements. And as researchers have pointed out, global warming has made mining those resources easier.

Additionally, America already has a presence in Greenland, which is technically in North America. There is currently a U.S. Armed Forces base 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle that has a radar station containing a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.

The U.S. has also recently blocked several attempts for China to expand its footprint in Greenland.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time the U.S. has tried to buy Greenland before: the State Department looked into purchasing the island in 1867, and President Harry Truman offered Denmark $100 million to buy it in 1946.