GREENLAND Strategic Arctic Key
Posted by: Massimo Merlino in geopolitic
The recent claim of USA President about a possible deal with Denmark to acquire Greenland it’s not a boutade but a perfectly coherent act both with USA tradition of acquiring key territories (Louisiana from France in 1803, Alaska from Russia in 1857) and with the present aggressive Arctic policies of Russia and China, clearly overcoming USA positioning from Obama on. Denmark a champion of politically correct European countries, will cry a lot about American policies and environment problems, but we don’t forget the discriminatory policies of Danish government about Innuit, old population immigrated in 1200 from Alaska, and the difficulties from Denmark to exploit a 2 million square km territory, now returning green, as the name in Middle Age given by explorers. Greenland is an autonomous territory which refused to be part of Europe with a referendum and it’s clearly part of North America platform.
Greenland has a strategic positioning from military and logistic point of view, as anyone can see looking at a map, and probably has interesting possibilities for mining uranium and rare minerals. China already made pressure for mining in the North and a USA military basis is also present. This critical strategic positioning is increasing its value with the climate change, due to the reopening of Arctic routes, the mythical North West passage to Atlantic Ocean and the North East ones to Asia. Russia with 40 ice-breakers, some of them nuclear powered has taken a ten years advantage in exploiting Arctic area from oil and gas exploration point of view and from military streghtening of Arctic harbours in Siberia and in Europe, supporting a lot the research of nuclear powered missiles in Archangelsk area and submarine fleet in Murmansk. But also China includes an Arctic component in its Road and Belt initiative for connecting Asia and Europe cutting times and costs, and trying to penetrate in Greenland economy like in Africa or Southamerica.
The new Arctic Routes
In detail the North West passage or passages, due to the multiple possibilities, are coasting the west Greenland and a lot of testing have already been done. USA have only two ice-breakers! Less already then the 7 Chinese. Canada is only rivaling with USA to control the area, but has a weak potential, both military and logistic. After the Chinese control on Central and South America, with the doubling of Panama channel, USA needs absolutely to rebalance the situation in Arctic area. Russia is investing in all the Siberian harbours on Arctic Ocean and not only China but also Korea is currently shipping to Hamburg through the Arctic North East passages., sparing ten days on the route through India.Denmark and not even UE can do nothing as usual in this Great Game to control the world resources and supply lines.
From the military point of view the basis of Thule in the North of Greenland is nothing, compared with enormous reinforcement of Russian weapon system in Arctic area, the accident of few days ago near to Archangelsk testify the research and installation of new generation of nuclear powered missiles and submarine drones targeted to USA. So America has to come back in the area and only shortening the way with a clear redefinition of Western borders, what must be done can be done. What about the price?Today Greenland costs to Denmark 500 million $ per year for a bad welfare of local population. Considering also the potential resources exploitation with the climate change, I personally think that an offer can be in between 5 to 10 billion $, with a big reservation of investments favor of a local empowerment and administration. Historically it could be comparable to Reagan sucsess with Gorbaciov in Rejkiawik meeting, rebalancing the power in all North Hemisphere.