Has the United States military program in Greenland turned from a defensive to an offensive one? This is the thesis of a new book just released in Denmark. According to the editor, a prominent peace researcher, a hushed-up change may have been made without the knowledge of the Danish government, which controls the island's defense and foreign affairs.
Whether true or not, the allegations are stirring up a storm of controversy in Denmark and Greenland, Monitor contributor Wayne Brittenden reports.
The book, edited by Paul Claesson, says that US defensive functions in Greenland are being transformed into the components of a first-strike strategy.
In a chapter entitled ''Greenland's role in a nuclear war,'' Mr. Claesson argues that ''the Giant Talk system composed of two overlapping radio networks known as Alpha and Bravo is currently being upgraded in a hushed-up program called Scope Signal Three.'' He adds: ''There are only 10 stations (involved in the network) globally, and attack against them would upset the US ability to complete bombing missions. But the system is poorly suited for a second strike.''
Former Danish Foreign Minister Kjeld Olesen denied any knowledge of the development. Responding to questions in parliament, a Danish official dismissed the allegations as purely speculative and cited a 1951 agreement stipulating that the US must inform the Danish authorities on all significant matters concerning the bases.
Mr. Claesson attributes the book's odd title, ''Greenland, Pearl of the Mediterranean,'' to a declassified American document of the 1950s, which uses the word ''Mediterranean'' to emphasize the strategic importance of the Arctic.