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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7750 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009, 07:23:22 pm »


              THULE AIRBASE
              Established after World War II,
              is the northernmost base of the
              US Air Force

After Norway regained full independence in 1905, it refused to accept Denmark's sovereignty over Greenland, which was a former Norwegian possession severed from Norway proper in 1814. In 1931, Norwegian whaler Hallvard Devold occupied uninhabited eastern Greenland, on his own initiative. After the fact, the occupation was supported by the Norwegian government, who claimed the area as Erik the Red's Land. Two years later, the Permanent Court of International Justice ruled in favour of the Danish view.

The Thule Air Base, established after World War II, is the northernmost base of the US Air ForceDuring World War II, when Germany extended its war operations to Greenland, Henrik Kauffmann, the Danish Minister to the United States who had already refused to recognize the German occupation of Denmark signed a treaty with the United States on April 9, 1941, granting the US Armed Forces permission to establish stations in Greenland. Because of the difficulties for the Danish government to govern the island during the war, and because of successful export, especially of cryolite, Greenland came to enjoy a rather independent status. Its supplies were guaranteed by the United States and Canada.

During the Cold War, Greenland had a strategic importance, controlling parts of the passage between the Soviet Arctic harbours and the Atlantic, as well as being a good base for observing any use of intercontinental ballistic missiles, typically planned to pass over the Arctic. The United States therefore had a geopolitical interest in Greenland, and in 1946, the United States offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100,000,000, but Denmark did not agree to sell.

In 1951, the Kauffman treaty was replaced by another one. The Thule Air Base at Thule (now Qaanaaq) in the northwest was made a permanent air force base. In 1953, some Inuit families were forced by Denmark to move from their homes to provide space for extension of the base. For this reason, the base has been a source of friction between the Danish government and the Greenlandic people. Tensions mounted when, on January 21, 1968, there was a nuclear accident a B-52 Stratofortress carrying four hydrogen bombs crashed near the base, leaking large amounts of plutonium over the ice.

Although most of the plutonium was retrieved, natives still make claims about resulting deformations in animals.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 07:29:03 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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