The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured President Trump’s imagination, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory.
Despite how godawful most of Trump's ideas have been and how crazy it sounds at first glance, this really isn't a terrible idea. Greenland has immense value in both natural resources and geopolitical positioning. If Trump actually did manage to pull it off, this would genuinely be a huge accomplishment for his administration and it would likely become a serious asset for the nation in the future. Besides, it's not like this sort of purchase is unheard of in American history, and Trump also respected Denmark's denial about it.
The story is just so fucking random though, and as far as I can tell it just came completely out of the blue. Like, Trump just woke up one morning and asked himself "I wonder if I can buy Greenland?"
Geo-strategy wise, Greenland is a valuable piece of real estate (not to mention all those minerals and energy beneath the surface ripe for mining). Greenland also has the legal option to choose to be independent from Denmark, so the final say belongs to Greenland, not Denmark. Although I wonder if America would be willing to grease the wheels by offering every Greenlander a hundred thousand bucks to be annexed by America.
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It should be noted Denmark offered to sell it to the US first. They pay the tiny island $591 million a year for 50,000 people. This is not a crazy idea for the US to pick up Greenland as a territory. There is a mutual interest for a transfer of territory here, and I think we are dismissing it as crazy just because of the politician involved. This would have come up no matter who was in office. Denmark wants this off their books and wants to sell it. It would be dumb for the US to pass on it.
Yes, there are strategic reasons to maintain a military presence in the Arctic. But there really isn't any point to buying Greenland. Greenland is already a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark, and hence a NATO member-state.
Indeed, between the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway, most of the arctic is already claimed by NATO member states.
This is such a Trump move. How about instead of trying to annex self-governing countries which are already our allies, America strengthens relationships with its allies, work through differences, and works together with said on common interests.
doing something like this supposed sale is about the only possible way trump would be remembered as a useful president in the history books, in 20 or 30 years or something. like any other president that is remembered for adding land.
and he clearly just knows nothing about the world or how it works to come up with this idea, because it is real obvious that the sale will not be made. 'I'm going to buy Greenland after I'm done messing with people on twitter!' is something an 11 year old would say.
WASHINGTON—President Trump made his name on the world’s most famous island. Now he wants to buy the world’s biggest.
The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real-estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the discussion, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.
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Greenland Tells Trump: ‘We’re Open for Business, Not for Sale’
Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it would be a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious.
With a population of about 56,000, Greenland is a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and while its government decides on most domestic matters, foreign and security policy is handled by Copenhagen. Mr. Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark early next month, although the visit is unrelated, these people said.
The White House and State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment. Officials with Denmark’s Royal House and the Danish embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Massive icebergs loom behind houses at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord in early August near Ilulissat, Greenland.
Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday morning that the island wasn’t on the market.
“We’re open for business, not for sale,” the ministry said on Twitter while emphasizing Greenland’s natural resources and tourism potential.
U.S. officials view Greenland as important to American national-security interests. A decades-old defense treaty between Denmark and the U.S. gives the U.S. military virtually unlimited rights in Greenland at America’s northernmost base, Thule Air Base. Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system. The base is also used by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
The U.S. has sought to derail Chinese efforts to gain an economic foothold in Greenland. The Pentagon worked successfully in 2018 to block China from financing three airports on the island.
People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Mr. Trump’s legacy, advisers said.
The few current and former White House officials who had heard of the notion, described it with a mix of anticipation and apprehension because it remains unknown how far the president might push the idea. It generated a cascade of questions among his advisers, such as whether the U.S. could use Greenland to establish a stronger military presence in the Arctic, and what kind of research opportunities it might present.
Though it has vast natural resources across its 811,000 square miles, Greenland relies on $591 million of subsidies from Denmark annually, which make up about 60% of its annual budget, according to U.S. and Danish government statistics.
Icebergs in eastern Greenland on Monday. Though Greenland is technically part of North America, it is culturally and politically linked to Europe. Photo: Mstyslav Chernov/Associated Press
Though Greenland is technically part of North America, it is culturally and politically linked to Europe. Following World War II, the U.S. under President Harry Truman developed a geopolitical interest in Greenland and in 1946 offered to buy it from Denmark for $100 million. Denmark refused to sell. And that was the second failed attempt—the State Department had also launched an inquiry into buying Greenland and Iceland in 1867.
At a dinner with associates last spring, Mr. Trump said 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, according to one of the people. “What do you guys think about that?” he asked the room, the person said. “Do you think it would work?”
The person described the question less as a serious inquiry than as a joke meant to indicate “I’m so powerful I could buy a country,” noting that since Mr. Trump hadn’t floated the idea at a campaign rally yet, he probably wasn’t seriously considering it.
An iceberg floats in a fiord near the town of Tasiilaq. Greenland has vast natural resources across its 811,000 square miles. Photo: lucas jackson/Reuters
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 President Dwight Eisenhower ’s admission of Alaska into the U.S. as a state.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to visit Greenland in May with the aim of discussing long-term peace and sustainable economic developments, particularly since “we’re concerned about activities of other nations, including China, that do not share these same commitments,” a senior State Department official said at the time. Mr. Pompeo was also scheduled to visit the New York Air National Guard in Kangerlussuaq, which supports U.S. scientists conducting research on Greenland’s ice cap. His trip was called off at the last minute because of escalating tensions with Iran.
Kenneth Mortensen, a real-estate agent in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, said that the running joke in Greenland currently is that Mr. Trump is traveling to Denmark with the sole intention of buying their island. But he said Mr. Trump might run into some trouble.
“You can never own land here,” Mr. Mortensen said, as all land is owned by the government. “In Greenland, you get a right to use the land where you want to build a house, but you can’t buy.”
“Of course, buying Greenland is a different issue altogether,” he added. “I’m not sure about that.”
We're in pretty uncharted territory here given the political climate, but we could probably buy it as a territory and just treat it as one (like Puerto Rico) but I don't know how many people would be okay with that idea.
Basically no it doesn't automatically become a state just because the US owns it. Technically the US could buy it, deem it federal land, and run the whole thing on federal jurisdiction if that wouldn't be super annoying for everyone.
It's just a not-too-subtle way of saying that in no way will the US ever let an unfriendly foreign power get access to Greenland. It's like Iceland who would prefer to remain neutral in a conflict but unfortunately geography dictates otherwise. Greenland is in the same situation as Iceland. It is key to protecting the sea lanes to Europe and is key to protecting the North American mainland.
Good point but there is a long history of animosity between Ukraine and Russia that simply isn't there between Denmark and the US. Of course nothing is ever certain but maybe, just maybe, purchasing Greenland our of fear that Denmark might switch sides is a *tiny bit* overly cautious in 2019.
I've been fascinated with Greenland for a while now, mainly looking at how the mineral extraction sector has been developing. And man has it been a slow grind. The locals seem like complete hicks to be honest. They have an emigration problem, a suicide problem and they are absolutely unaware of how a modern economy should function.
Denmark just has to wait and they can do what they want with Greenland. The locals will die off eventually if they don't come to their senses.