Though hobbled by an ill-fated campaign to purchase Greenland, the United States is still working to maintain a foothold in the Arctic region by reportedly working to open an American consulate in Nuuk as early as next year. This is a tremendous first step to relations in the region, though not likely to be reported on in the midst of impeachment and civil unrest in the Middle East.
According to Foreign Policy Magazine, the Administration has committed to seven diplomats in Kalaallit Nunaat, (“The Land of the Greenlanders” in Kalaallisut.) While this is only one diplomat per approximately 10,000 Greenlandic citizens, the strategic commitment speaks volumes to the Trump Administration’s renewed commitment to our neighbors in the Northeast.
History of American Presence in Kalaallit Nunaat
The last time the United States had an official State Department presence in Nuuk was post-WWII, during which the American military agreed to protect the Danish territory in the Kaufmann-Hull Agreement after Copenhagen was toppled by Hitler’s Germany. Danish Ambassador to the United States Henrik Kauffman worked swiftly with U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull to draft an agreement “relating to the defence of Greenland” that remains the basis for the United States Air Force’s presence at Thule Air Force Base 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle today.
Not since WWII, when American and Canadian special forces teams were tasked with finding covert German weather stations on sovereign Allied territory, has the free Arctic been in more danger from militaristic influence. China is declaring itself a “near-Arctic state” and Russia has 50 weaponized-icebreakers currently roaming the world’s northernmost ocean.
Freedom in the Arctic
The free and democratic nations of the High North must work together to defend the last unexplored frontier free from militaristic influence and profiteering. Check out our website for the most up-to-date developments on security in the Arctic.