[one_third]Conservative – Mark Pothen
President Trump recently expressed his intrigue to purchase Greenland from the government of Denmark, and it seems that a majority of the president’s voter base supports his endeavor. Rasmussen polling found that “Among voters who Strongly Approve of the job the president is doing, 52% favor buying Greenland. Just 12% are opposed.”
While it is not feasible that the president will be able to actually purchase Greenland, I think there is a compelling case for this seemingly outrageous policy. There is a myriad of strategic and economic purposes for Greenland including the potential ability to detect nuclear missile launches traveling over the North Pole.
The intrigue to buy Greenland is not exclusive to this president. In 1946, President Harry Truman proposed buying it for 100 million dollars. The Cold War was about to set in and Truman was trying to create a path to victory by strategically placing military bases. The Assistant Chief of the State Department under Truman, William C. Trimble, said that Greenland would provide the United States with ″valuable bases from which to launch an air counteroffensive over the Arctic area in the event of attack.″
The Trump administration has also made the argument that as shipping passages open up due to melting Arctic Sea ice, the more valuable the ownership of Greenland will become. However, even though there is a just reasoning for American interest in the ownership of Greenland, there seems to be very little chance that President Trump will accomplish the enormous feat anytime soon.
[one_third]Independent – Daniil Ivanov
President Donald Trump, in his usual nature, caused an international stir when he proposed that the United States should purchase Greenland from Denmark. The statement, which Trump has confirmed as being serious about, has caused outrage from some and delight from others. Humorously, it has also sparked all sorts of satire such as late night talk show host Conan O’Brien traveling to Greenland in an attempt to negotiate the purchase of the autonomous territory from the Kingdom of Denmark.
Considering Greenland is over 1,800 miles from Denmark, and roughly half of Greenland’s annual budget is provided by Denmark, there does not seem to be any logistic reasons for Denmark to hold on to a country that it has no practical control over.
On the other hand, the United States already owns Thule Air Base on the island and would see a strategic benefit from increasing their presence in the Arctic Circle. This is especially true with a warming climate that has made the Arctic Circle more easily navigable and has made countless natural resources more easily available.
The only real issue is the ethical dilemma of purchasing a sovereign territory: Greenland should not be bought unless Greenland wants to be bought. If a referendum was conducted, and the 50,000 citizens of Greenland decided that they would like to be a territory of the United States, then Denmark should respect the wishes of the autonomous territory and thank President Trump for taking from them the fiscal burdens of Greenland.
[one_third]Liberal – Colin Bayne
To be blunt, the short answer is no, America should not be looking to expand, and countries should not still be buying other countries. But, this isn’t the Vector collections, so let’s get a little more in-depth.
America still controls territory which has no representation in our legislative body, and the natives of these locations sometimes do not even have the ability to vote in national elections. Territories like Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are the result of our nation’s long history of expansion and exploitation, and we have still not resolved the injustice of their status. To even think about continuing to expand our control without addressing the existing injustices of our empire is ludicrous and highly immoral. In the general sense, no nation should have the right to force its governmental control over another, and no people should be able to have their land seized from them by an exploitative foreign power. America has a long history of disrespecting foreign sovereignty, but this is something which we need to leave in our past.
To speak about Greenland specifically, the situation is as ludicrous as it is outrageous. A part of the motivation for the purchase is the use of Greenland as a military staging base for American interests (which has its own imperialist implications). However, Greenland is its own autonomous region under the nominal control of the Danish government, who oversees such things as defense and foreign policy for the largely uninhabited nation. Greenland belongs to its people, and thus Trump’s attempt to simply buy it from Denmark shows his own hubris and colonial mindset.
In 2019, we should be past these 1800s discussions about the morality of buying and trading colonies, but sadly this case illustrates how far we still have to go.