Harry S Truman tried it. So did Dwight Eisenhower. And now Donald Trump is reportedly the latest US president looking into the possibility of somehow acquiring Greenland ahead of his trip to Denmark next month.
According to the Wall Street Journal and a number of other US media, sources within the White House have revealed that Trump raised the issue during meetings and asked aides to look into the possibility.
Well, according to a number of Danish politicians, the aides shouldn’t bother wasting their time. It ain’t gonna happen.
Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the former PM and leader of Venstre, referred to the proposition as an April Fool’s joke, while the party’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, Martin Lidegaard, was equally dismissive.
“I hope it’s a joke, because it’s a terrible and grotesque thought. I’m convinced it would be a massive loss – for Greenland and Denmark. It would mean dissolving the Commonwealth and that Greenland would suddenly be living under complete US domination,” Lidegaard told DR Nyheder.
Up to Greenland
Greenland has long been of key strategic military importance to the US – a viewpoint that was highlighted by the establishment of the Thule Air Base during WWII.
But with the Arctic region increasingly becoming an essential aspect of geopolitical strife and Greenland’s natural resource potential, the strategic importance of the island has not diminished. Ultimately, though, it will be up to Greenland itself to decide its future.
“Despite the errors that have been made in connection with Greenland over the years, I would dare to contend there has never been an indigenous people who have had independence on their own terms as the Greenlandic people have. I would be very nervous to risk that,” added Lidegaard.