National Affairs: Deepfreeze Defense

"Our population is destined to roll its resistless waves to the icy barriers of the north," said William Henry Seward 101 years ago. Twenty-one years later, he bought one of the Arctic marches—Alaska —for less than 2¢ an acre. He would have bought Canada and Greenland if he could. He tried to get Denmark's Virgin Islands, but was a half-century ahead of his countrymen. When the islands were bought during World War I, one of Seward's successors, bumbling Robert Lansing, tossed in a quitclaim to northern Greenland.

This week, as U.S. strategists studied the...