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Senior Thesis Help: Nuclear Weapons in Greenland d

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MAHA View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 Apr 2013 at 18:00
Hey everyone, I am an undergraduate student who studies history at university in Denmark. I'm currently working on my senior thesis. The subject of the paper is the US and Danish governments security policies with regards to Greenland during the Cold War, probably with focus on the issue of nuclear weapons (the Danish government’s official policy was that nuclear weapons was not allowed on Danish territory, however, the US believed that a defence agreement with Denmark gave them the right to store nuclear weapons in Greenland). But the exact subject is not clear jet; so far I have read a lot of different books, about stuff like the geostrategic importance of Greenland to the US and the general security policy of Denmark during the period.
I am looking for some help and inspiration to find a good research question, the exact thing I want to investigate and analyze. I just need to find the right approach to this, the angle I want to pursue. Ideas from everyone are welcomed, even if you do not know that much about the subject. Maybe you have previously stumbled upon something you think could be used in this context. Just fire away.
The literature I have read so far is mostly in Danish, so most guys in here would probably not know it, but I have read one book written in English: “The United States and the Cold War in the High North” by Rolf Tamnes. The Danish Institute for International Studies has published a lot of primary sources from both the Danish Foreign Ministry and the US State Department.
I hope someone at this forum can give me some inspiration I'm aware of the policy of helping at this forum, and I hope that I'm staying within that limit.
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Panther View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2013 at 10:58
Has the subject been better clarified yet? Right now am thinking a possible research question could be centered around Thule Air Base. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Apr 2013 at 01:23
Nuclear weapons, I believe, tended to be taken more for granted back in the '60s. For a while some strategists had the idea that anti-aircraft missiles, or intercepters, armed with nukes were a good idea (not considering, I suppose, the effects of radiation and blast on communities that might have been in the line of fire). At that time, the Soviets were testing air defenses, and at times, nuclear armed fighters certainly traversed Canada, and quite likely Greenland during their responses.
 
There was also a plan called "Failsafe". This meant that, as the possiblity of destroying aircraft and missiles on the ground during a surprise attack was deemed significant, aircraft were regularly launched, armed and ready, including having a target list, onto their missions. They would fly to a "Failsafe" point, at which time they expected to be recalled by specific codes. This was thought to be the safest possible deterrent, as, in effect, bombers were already on their mission, but would only be called back by an intact military command structure. If no such order arrived, pilots were to conclude that a nuclear strike had taken place, command infrastructure had been destroyed, and they were to proceed to their targets. Given the geography of the area, overfights of Greenland seem an almost certainty.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MAHA Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2013 at 02:54
Thanks for the replies

Panther: I have thought about centering a question around Thule Air Base, but I think it might be a little too narrow? Did you have something particular in mind?

Captain Vancouver: Greenland was indeed the subject of daily overflights for many years, ending in 1968 when a US B-52, carrying 4 nuclear weapons, crashed near Thule. The overflights occurred mostly as a consequence of the “Airborne Alert program“ carried out by Strategic Air Command, in particular for the reason you mentioned: To prevent a surprise attack.

So far I have worked with a research question on the extent of the Danish knowledge of the US nuclear activities in Greenland, but it is not perfect, and the question has not been completely defined and set in stone yet. Any help and ideas are still very much welcome and will be much appreciated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 2013 at 05:40
Many apologies for the very late reply! EmbarrassedEmbarrassedEmbarrassed It may not be of any further use but, here it is....

Originally posted by MAHA MAHA wrote:

Thanks for the replies

Panther: I have thought about centering a question around Thule Air Base, but I think it might be a little too narrow? Did you have something particular in mind?


Probably the relevancy of and an in depth history of the air base
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cdihaxcisp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2014 at 08:01
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