Trump and Greenland Purchase: The Art of the Deal?

Christo Toub ’22

Contributing Writer

While the mainstream media has mocked President Trump for contemplating purchasing Greenland, it is actually not a bad idea at all. In fact, it would be a fantastic foreign policy decision if he were able to succeed.
Trump isn’t the first American president to express interest in buying Greenland. President Truman offered to purchase Greenland for 100 million dollars in 1946. Also, both China and Russia, two of our biggest rivals, are looking into buying Greenland for its military and economic advantages. In 2018, China proposed a “Polar Silk Road” which sought to use Greenland as part of a new North American trade strategy.
Purchasing Greenland could have extraordinary benefits for American national security, economic ventures, and environmental protection. Firstly, Greenland’s location is perfect for conducting military intelligence such as satellite operations and missile defense, as military bases could detect missile launches from over the North Pole. America already has an operational military base in Thule, Greenland, which functions as a logistics center for military activity in the Arctic. If America were to purchase Greenland, they could combat Russia’s encroachment on the region. Because of Russia’s foreign policy misbehavior in recent years, and their concerning thirst for power and territory, it would be helpful to not only America, but also to the rest of the World for America to acquire Greenland over Russia.
The second reason buying Greenland would be a foreign policy win is the island’s abundance of natural resources. Greenland is rich in hydrocarbons, the key ingredient in petroleum and natural gas, and also in rare metals which the U.S. can currently only acquire from China. This could become problematic as the U.S. relationship with China has weakened over the past two years due to the trade war and President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric. It would be a relief to be able to acquire these valuable metals without going through China.
Finally, there are numerous environmental reasons why purchasing Greenland would be of great benefit to the U.S. The island’s water is host to numerous species of fish and its land is home to numerous species of flowers and animals. Not to mention, there is vast space for wildlife preserves, and Greenland is one of the premier locations in the world for climate related research. Additionally, as global warming becomes an unfortunate reality, Greenland’s natural resources will become more accessible as the arctic ice melts. America can pioneer arctic mining and tap into valuable resources such as oil, gold, and diamonds.
Even though Denmark was adamant about Greenland not being for sale, it would be quite the economic relief for them to not have to pay the 600-million-dollar subsidy every year.
To recap, President Trump was onto something when propositioning the purchase of Greenland, but the media decided to focus more on his poor delivery than the actual merits of this foreign policy move. There are many advantages to buying Greenland and it is something that previous leaders of our country and the leaders of our rivals have considered. Overall, Greenland is one of Trump’s better real estate ideas.