Denmark currently has only one aircraft, four helicopters and four ships to monitor the Arctic in Greenland. In addition to enforcing sovereignty, they take care of fisheries control and search and rescue operations. The government now decided on February 11, 2021, that it will strengthen its defense capabilities in the Arctic. Long-range drones and radar are to be used.
Climate change is not only a challenge to protect nature, it also poses dangers from a strategic point of view. As sea ice shrank, a race began between world powers for control of resources and waterways. There are hardly any limits to creativity.
The United States has also increased its focus on the Arctic and Greenland in recent years. Former President Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland from Denmark in 2019. The outcry was great.
In addition, China is trying to mine mineral resources in Greenland, and the Greenlanders have been at loggerheads with Canada for some time over an uninhabited island in the Nares Strait. Russia has also been trying to strengthen its economic and military presence in the Arctic for some time. Also showing their interest in the Arctic are Canada, the USA, Norway and China.
“We have seen an increase in foreign activity in the Arctic and North Atlantic. We need better surveillance and presence in the region – not to escalate conflicts, but because we need to take the threats seriously,” Defence Minister Trine Bramsen said in a statement.
As reported by the Danish channel TV 2, the government in Copenhagen wants to spend 1.5 billion Danish kroner (200 million euros) to monitor Greenland. For example, various initiatives are expected to be launched in 2023, but it may then take several years before they are fully implemented.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal