08:47 GMT +3 hours27 June 2016
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Helicopters make a training flight at the Keflavik US Air Base, Keflavik, Iceland, Friday Feb. 24, 2006

'Worrisome': US Secretly Plans to Reopen Military Base in Iceland

© AP Photo/ Kirsty Wigglesworth
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As a response to the deteriorating relations between Washington and Moscow, the United States will reopen a Cold War-era naval base in Iceland. These plans were kept secret from the Icelandic public, and even the prime minister of the country learned of the deal only through US media reports.

"A lot of Icelanders are worried," Paul Fontaine, news editor with the Reykjavik Grapevine, told Radio Sputnik. "When the base closed in 2006, a lot of Icelanders were relieved."

Located near the capital of Reykjavik, the base, originally built during World War II, will be retrofitted to house P-8 Poseidon surveillance planes. News of this arrangement came as a complete surprise to many Icelanders.

"Why did we learn about this from Stars and Stripes, the US military’s media outlet," Fontaine asked. "Even the Prime Minister himself said that he learned about these plans from the news, and that’s highly unusual."

While the US has so far stated that it only plans to upgrade a single hangar, the move makes it likely that the military presence at the base could be greatly expanded in the future.

"The US military has said that they kind of look at Iceland as having the potential to be like their base in Sicily," Fontaine says. "And their base in Sicily has some 4,000 troops and family members and other base workers. I think that calls for worry."

While opposition figures point out the concerns of allowing the US to expand its military presence in Iceland, the government has downplayed the move.

"People in the opposition are saying, 'Hey, this is worrisome. Why are we hearing this from the American military and not from you all?' It’s a very strange way to play things out," he states.

If war were to break out between the United States and Russia, the presence of an American military base would quickly drag Iceland into the conflict.

"A lot of Icelanders are a little bit concerned that this kind of puts us in a situation right now," Fontaine says. "I remember the Cold War, I was in high school through the Cold War, and I remember how these two countries can engage via proxy through smaller parties, and right now we’re the smaller party."

While the base is said to be temporary, history shows that this may not be the case.

"The American military very seldom sends a few guys and then withdraws them," he says. "Especially if it’s at a strategic point, especially during a time when tensions are rising with a potential rival."

"I have very little faith in the word of the American military that they’re just going to send a few guys here and then take them out."

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Tags:
military expansion, military base, P-8A Poseidon, NATO, Paul Fontaine, Russia, United States, Iceland
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  • anne00marie
    It would be nice to see Russia re-open their Cuba base. I wonder how that would go down?
  • anne00mariein reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, They are so worried, they got around to placing a claim. No doubt they just assumed they could just go in and take it, like they appear to do in so many territories.
  • teddy j
    now acting more ''openly" like the proverbial THIEF IN THE NIGHT.

    like a robber sneaking in through the back window -- in OTHER PEOPLE'S HOMES.

    that's what americans should be known for throughout the world.

    whether it's economic ''deals' like TPP -= TIPP -- NAFTA -- or ``war on terror``
    or `bait and switch`

    or of course NSA..

    tha`ts what the usa is all about -- a CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION PRETENDING TO BE A ```government`: or a ``country`` ..

    although americans as whole are not directly involved and believe with all their hearts `we are the good guys`...

    but actually ARE A ``nation``

    built on criminality.
  • teddy jin reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
    karlof1, exactly -- if they can -- do a referendum on only one thing»:

    literally -- LITERALLY RIP UP THE NATO ``document`and all the ``rules`and declare them VOID unilaterally. that`s NOT so complicated.

    teh trouble with people -- everywhere -- is they go onoly halfway -- lots of POLITE worrying -- about ``indications``

    but they go about their business UNTIL it is too late...
  • dewatergeus
    Something is not kosher here.
    Iceland must have somewhere in its locker a contract with US Military made up in the past.
    Now you want me to believe that US can just sneak into Iceland, open a base with let's say one military patrol aircraft and tell the Iceland government nothing about it in advance?
    Somebody is playing clown and dumb here.
  • michaelin reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
    anne00marie, agreed, it does also look like that they've learnt one lesson at least, make a pretence of going by the books, making claims and so on. :)
  • michaelin reply todewatergeus(Show commentHide comment)
    dewatergeus, maybe it's in the terms of the lease agreement - a fifty year option or some such which as worded may not require the host government to be informed.?????
  • Ivan Buckeye
    At some point there's going to be action in the Arctic. This is probably related to such activity and projection up and over the north or Arctic.
  • Under a treaty that was signed in signed in 1951, the US is responsible for the defense of Iceland as Iceland has no standing army or defense forces save for their Coast Guard.

    Iceland’s air space has been patrolled by NATO Sates as part of the Icelandic Air Policing operation since 2008.


    Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of Iceland made the following quote:

    "The US proposal for Keflavik is welcome, but we have had no talks about increased operations from there. Should more flights and operations happen, then this is already covered under our current defense agreements with the US."

    It seems that Iceland is forced to agree to anything the USA wants because of the defense treaty they signed all those years ago.
  • affordable.guy
    Don't you mean: Secretly planed?
  • motherland101in reply to (Show commentHide comment)
    ultravi01et,
    Latest news. 2 days ago, those drones are near production.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toBaybars(Show commentHide comment)
    Baybars, The area is going to be of decisive importance in WW3 whether it is conventional or nuclear. When one takes into consideration the melting of the ice cap and the resultant opening of the Northwest Passage the Davis Strait could easily become a flashpoint for WW3. If you study the history of air and naval operations in the area during the Cold War and during the Battle Of The Atlantic during WW2 you can see just how important the area is. One would also need to consult the writings on the Northwest Passage going back well into the 19th Centaury.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, That will depend on how long the big banks are willing and able to print unlimited amounts of money for them.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
    anne00marie, I think the US has anticipated that and have just bought off the Cuban Government in order to prevent it.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, as long as it's worth anything as well....:)
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, It" s bound to come crashing down sooner or later since the whole of the worlds economy is just one big confidence game. Reality is going to see justice done at some point.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, a couple of years ago, there was an article in one of the regional papers about a group who were prepared for the complete breakdown of society - holding weapons, tinned foodstuffs, water purification equipment etc. When interviewed they sounded so rational and they weren't mentioning any particular problem of the time. It was simply their belief in the powers that be to act so that it would hit the fan one day.
  • gselimos41
    Just like the famous American song "hotel california" once the Americans check in they never check out . 1st step to making you their bitch.
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, That pretty much sums up my attitude as well. One can easily see in general terms what is coming if one looks at it objectively, honestly, and without flinching. However, there are to many wildcards to predict details. You have to allow yourself a lot of flexibility in your response. In this country at some point we are heading into something like a Mad Max Movie on steroids I am convinced. I think you will understand the analogy. Another movie that I think accurately foretells what is coming is "The Road".
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn (Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, so a return to the visions of the '60's then. A reflection of the significance of global events and their direction... well, we shall certainly see.....
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