Denmark should develop Canadian relations

As the Danish diplomatic conversation is about the relationship to  Canada, it is usually the question of the supremacy of Hans’ Island, which first emerges. But there are both geopolitical and cultural reasons why Denmark should make much more of it’s relations to Canada. It is partly about Canada’s shared interest with the United States in seeing Greenland as a shield against attacks from Russia and Korea, and partly about Inuit culture. Greenland is, to me, the only post-colonial country dominated by the indigenous people. In both Canada and Alaska, the Inuit have been invaded by settlers. Therefore, it is often overlooked in Denmark that if one is to understand Inuit in the modernized world and their conditions, then there are important similarities and differences between Inuit in Greenland and Canada. Among other things, the article calls for strengthening both bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Greenland as a contribution to a new orientation of Danish security and foreign policy

 

 

 

The geopolitical situation

 

Initially, the opening of the new seaways north of the continents has attracted increasing attention. But the Illullisat Declaration’s mantra of peaceful coexistence in every possible area is more or less shot down. Both Russia and the US will extract oil despite criticism. Russia is stocking up with armored icebreakers, bases and submarines. Tensions are on the rise,  China is hardly present in the military, but is focusing more on economic infiltration in the area.

The geographical value of Greenland and Thulebase is mentioned partly by us in the West and partly as the radar and partly as the “missile shield”. Perhaps it is a somewhat overlooked fact that missiles can partly protect North America and partly can be used for sending missiles against Russia and North Korea.

As long as Greenland is  perceived as territory without regard to the Greenlandic population, it is partly about military strategic location, raw materials / mining and transport routes.  In that situation, Greenland has not developed its own views yet, but most followed and to some extent so far found itself in Danish interest.

Looking at the supply routes, the Danish-Greenlandic relationship is far from perfect. When a Dane comes to Nuuk, the Danish-speaking Greenlanders very funny use the term “fly fresh” partly as a claim to  the expensive cucumbers (brought in by flight) , and partly about Danes who do not understand much of anything of Greenlandic culture. The point is that cultural empathy is a geographically dependent discipline.

The distance to Denmark means that the supply roads are threatened in war situations, as we saw it during World War II. Greenland is located on the North American continental shelf, close to Canada, which also to some extent protects the central United States.

 

 

Canada’s geographical location should play a greater role in Danish geopolitics.

 

Initially, the opening of the new seaways north of the continents has attracted increasing attention. But the Illullisat Declaration’s mantra of peaceful coexistence in every possible area is more or less shot down. Both Russia and the US will extract oil despite criticism. Russia is stocking up with armored icebreakers, bases and submarines. Tensions are on the rise, China is hardly present in the military, but is focusing more on economic infiltration in the area.

The geographical value of Greenland and Thulebase is mentioned partly by us in the West and partly as the radar and partly as the “missile shield”. Perhaps it is a somewhat overlooked fact that missiles can partly protect North America and partly can be used for sending missiles against Russia and North Korea.

As long as Greenland is regarded as territory without regard to the Greenlandic population, it is partly about military strategic location, raw materials / mining and transport routes. In that situation, Greenland has not developed its own views yet, but most followed and to some extent so far found itself in Danish interest.

Looking at the supply routes, the Danish-Greenlandic relationship is problematic. When a Dane comes to Nuuk, the Danish-speaking Greenlanders very funny use the term “fly fresh” partly as a claim to the expensive cucumbers, and partly about Danes who do not understand much of anything. The point is that situational understanding is a geographically dependent discipline.

The distance to Denmark means that the supply roads are threatened in war situations, as we saw it during World War II. Greenland is located on the North American continental shelf, close to Canada, which also to some extent protects the central United States.

 

The importance of the Greenlandic population to Danish security policy

 

It is typical of a colonialist approach to Greenland that the interests of the population are ignored or under-prioritized over other considerations. Understanding is a journey into somebody else’s land. It can be stated that the less colonialist the Danish government wants to act within the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, Greenland, The Faroe Islands) the more emphasis it should put on supporting not only current Greenlandic wishes, but also Greenland in developing policies in Greenlandic interest.

The Greenlandic population is Inuit, as are the Inuit people in Canada and Alaska. There is therefore a great cultural geographic and political interest in Greenland, in addition to its participation in the ICC at the political level, coordinating its security and foreign policy development in cooperation with Canada.

As mentioned above, the short supply lines from Canada to the west coast of Greenland are intended as guarantees in a crisis situation where sea and air transport to and from Denmark is threatened or cut off.

There are thus really good reasons why Denmark is increasing its military and cultural cooperation with Canada as part of the development of a more independent Danish security and foreign policy.

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