Advertisement

How Have the U.S. Interests in Greenland Changed?: Reconstructing the Perceived Value of Thule Air Base After the Cold War

  • Kousuke SaitouEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to examine how the U.S. interests regarding Thule Air Base have changed in the post-Cold War period. Initially, various U.S. bases in Greenland were established or strengthened to counter the Soviet threat in the early stages of the Cold War. Therefore, when that threat receded, it was expected that their strategic importance would diminish dramatically. However, by the end of the 1990s, the U.S. recognized the increased missile capabilities of “rogue states,” accelerating the deployment of the missile defense system. Thus, the value of Thule Air Base increased as a key part of the system, affecting the trilateral negotiations between Washington, Copenhagen, and Nuuk. The U.S. military bases in Greenland also serve as hubs for scientific research concerning the Arctic region, although this feature affects base politics less directly than do military factors, due to third-party influences, such as civilian infrastructure and international cooperation.

Keywords

Anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty Arctic Research Commission Ballistic missile early warning radar (BMEWS) Missile defense National Science Foundation (NSF) Rumsfeld Commission Report Scientific research Sondrestrom Air Base Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Thule Air Base 

References

  1. Archer, C. 2003. Greenland, US bases, and missile defence: New two-level negotiations? Cooperation and Conflict 38 (2): 143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brooke, J. 2000. Greenlanders wary of a new role in U.S. defenses, The New York Times, September 18. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/18/world/greenlanders-wary-of-a-new-role-in-us-defenses.html?mcubz=1. Accessed 20 Mar 2018.
  3. Peoples, C. 2010. Justifying ballistic missile defence: Technology, security, and culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Corgan, M. T. 2014. The USA in the Arctic: Superpower or spectator? In Security and sovereignty in the north Atlantic, ed. Lassi Heininen, 62–79. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  5. Doel, R. E. 2003. Constituting the postwar earth sciences: The military’s influence on the environmental sciences in the USA after 1945. Social Studies of Science 33 (5): 635–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fischer, K. 1993. The modernization of US radar installation at Thule, Greenland. Journal of Peace Research 30 (1): 7–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kelly, J. 1992. Greenland research projects. Science 255 (5052): 1626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Petersen, N. 2011. Greenland in the U.S. polar strategy. Journal of Cold War Studies 13 (2): 90–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Reagan, R. 1983. “United States Arctic Policy,” National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 90, April 14. https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsdd/nsdd-090.htm. Accessed 20 Mar 2018.
  10. Spring, B. 2000. Clinton’s failed missile defense policy: A legacy of missed opportunities, The Heritage Foundation, September 21. http://www.heritage.org/defense/report/clintons-failed-missile-defense-policy-legacy-missedopportunities. Accessed 20 Mar 2018.
  11. Williams, C. J. 2000. U.S. offering Greenlanders a deal they may find hard to refuse, Los Angeles Times, July 23. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jul/23/news/mn-57864. Accessed 20 Mar 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Initiatives and Promotion OrganizationYokohama National UniversityKanagawaJapan

Personalised recommendations