Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Falklands War II?

Not militant Islamists, Argentinians!
That famous old Churchill quote: "those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it", is as relevant today as it was all those years ago.  But it seems that this government is continuing to treat the armed services with the same level of contempt that the last shower did.

From the Telegraph Online:
Scrapping Britain’s flagship aircraft carrier made no financial sense and leaves the Falkland Islands vulnerable to a new attack, former senior Navy commanders have claimed.  
Lord West of Spithead and Sir Julian Oswald, Admiral of the Fleet, are among a number of officers to have urged David Cameron to reverse the cost-cutting announced in last month’s defence review.

The irresponsible action of this Coalition/Tory government follows increasing militancy from the Argentinians over their claim to the Falklands, against the clear wishes of the islanders. The following comes from The Grauniad  in February this year:

Buenos Aires moves ahead with sovereignty claim following mobilising of Latin American support against Britain last night intensified its diplomatic offensive against Britain's oil exploration off the Falkland Islands by taking the case to the United Nations.

There is absolutely no justification for the Argentine claim to the Falklands. The only justification for them becoming sovereign Argentinian territory would be if the majority of Falkland Islanders wanted the change. They are firm in their wish to maintain the status quo. So why is this government leaving them vulnerable to a second invasion? Would our Anglo-French navy stand any chance of repeating the heroics of 1982? I doubt it, the French would be as supportive now as they were in 1982.

On the Saturday in 1982 when the House of Lords debated the response to the Argentinian invasion that led to the sending of the Task Force, I was in Westminster at a Freedom Association meeting. One of those present was a member of the House of Lords and returned from the House occasionally to update us on the debate. It was extremely exciting at the time, but I would prefer it not to be repeated. Sadly the Coalition/Tory government don't seem to remember those distant days.

It is not for us or the Argentines to decide the future of the Falkland Islands, it is for the Falkland Islanders to decide their own future.


Jim said...

I think the Falklands have considerably more defence now than they did in 1981. Then it was a handful of Royal Marines. Now they have a frigate or destroyer on constant patrol, 4 eurofighters based at Mount Pleasant and 500 men as a garrison. Plus we can send submarines pretty sharpish which are armed with cruise missiles as well.

All in all it would be a pretty stupid Argentinian govt that took that lot on. It would be no walkover. And if they tried to send a large force, the mobilisation of it would get picked up beforehand, giving us time to reinforce. More aircraft & men, more warships and subs.

Gregg said...

Forgive me, how foolish to think a couple of Admirals might know what they are talking about.

Nice how you can quote, not quite word for word, from Wikipedia. But it's wrong. Our garrison is around1000 strong and still couldn't defend the islands from a serious Argentinian attack, especially with the support of increasingly anglophobic Latin American allies.