Sunday, February 26, 2006

Worries over new Falklands Conflict Grow

Remember this famous Sun front page? Scotland on Sunday reports today that worries are growing about Argentinian shows of military strength and their intentions towards the Falkland Islands. Next year is the 25th anniversary of the conflict of April-June 1982. Read the article HERE. This comes in the week that the BBC announced it was abandoning radio broadcasts to the Islands (while starting up two new FM services in Rwanda!). This is just the sort of signal which the Argentinians could misinterpret. The most worrying thing in Brian Brady's article in the fact that the Argentinian Air Force is now twice the size it was in 1982. Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, chairman of the all-party Falkland Islands Group, said: "It is time the British government told the Argentinians they won't get away with this alarming hostility. I hope the Argentine government is not planning any military action, but we have got to learn the lessons of the past and any actions have to be rebutted. The moment we are seen to be weakening, our resolve is going to be questioned." It was the Falklands War that first got me interested in politics in a big way. A twenty year old called Iain Dale was killed in the conflict. I ws 20 at the time. It certainly brought home to me the terrible sacrifices made in the course of defending our rights and freedoms.


Inamicus said...

Note also questioning on this topic from Argentinian press correspondent at Blair's monthly press conference last week, which he swatted disdainfully away. Keep an eye on this issue.

David Farrer said...

And it only seems like yesterday. I recall sitting in my car outside a pub in Primrose Hill listening to the news of the first engagements.

If it happens again, I doubt if we'll have the resources to repeat the victory. If Blair goes in, we may well lose. If he doesn't, he'd be seen as "frit". A silver lining, perhaps?

Bill said...

Do you think the Falklands will remain British in say 50 or 100 years? Personally I have my doubts.

I lived in Hong Kong during the last fracas with the Argentinians and certainly believe that the firm stance taken by the UK at that time was a major factor in renewing Britain's international reputation in the parts of the world I know well (the Far and Middle East). The UK under Thatcher saw its image totally transfromed, but I wonder whether she would have won the 1983 election had she not stood up to the invasion, as her popularity prior to it was not very high. Had she not won that election then the record of her we remember would be very different than it is now and it is questionnable whether her work would have been continued, more likely reversed, by any incoming Labour government in 1983.

However, times change. Argentina is no longer run by a military junta and politics in general in Latin America are very different now than they were in the early 1980s. The UK is no longer seen as the 'sick man of Europe'. My own instinct would be to repel any potential threat, but countries must look to their own longer term strategic interests and I am not entirely certain what ours are in that part of the South Atlantic.

I am merely trying to inject a note of objectivity; I do not want whatever actions we may take to be influenced solely by emotion.

David Morton said...

What is the relative state of the Militaries? its widely held our naval power isn't what it was but isn't there a permanent garrison on the falklands now? how easy would it be to invade? I think the iconography of thatcher would make it impossible for a British government not to repel an invasion or try. we invaded iraq but would not defend a british garrison and 2000 white english speaking islanders?