Lately, I've been reading various articles on Argentina and their government's recent attempts to claim the Falkland Islands once again. Being an American who a) was born after the last Falklands showdown and b) isn't a Brit, I'm interested in what the British gents on this forum think about Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Do you think the British government will show Argentina who's boss this time around? Or is Argentina going to get their way?
China's claims over Tibet are not proximity, they are historical. Tibet belonged to the Middle Kingdom for numerous centuries. The Chinese of modern times don't claim that Tibet belongs to them because they are close, they claim Tibet belongs to them because that has historically been the case.Although Tibet had proclaimed its independence and was ruling itself independent, the Republic of China had never recognized their independence, stating they were still apart of China, and when the Communist overthrew the ROC, they did not abandon the claims and sent troops in to re-establish the Chinese control that had previously existed.
China is surrounded on all sides by countries just like Tibet, yet you do not see them throwing around claims simply because of proximity.
Tibet? I thought Alex was referring to Taiwan. I agree with your opinion on Tibet. Doesn't make me grieve any less for the people there but I agree that it has been a part of what most Chinese would consider their territory for a loooonnnggg time.
They're also 400km away, hardly close proximity. I also read somewhere that they're actually a bit closer to Chile.
That's very close proximity, as demonstrated by the valid claims of the PRC.
If the US ever pull out of the West Pacific I think the world will learn in a hurry how "valid" the People's Republic of China's claim to Taiwan are.
I'd be interested in an American's opinion. Once upon a time, the US would oppose any colonial control of South America over control by South American nations. Actually in a recent letter by Castro (that went over the head of some Canadian conservative hack writers) he makes a similar remark towards Canadians, pointing out that, despite our independence, we still rather automatically side with our former British masters than our fellow Pan-Americans.
All that aside, I agree with Gary. The people who live on the islands, like their fellow British Nationals in Gibraltar, wish to remain under the British crown so who cares what some politician in Buenos Aires wants.
I know the question was aimed at Brits but as a child of British Nationals (my home voted to leave British rule for Canada in 1949) I felt entitled:)
Sadly, I think the Falklands war was to Britain what raising the debt ceiling is to America. It just delays the inevitable. The days of Empire are over and I think that victory was just one of the final growls of a old dying lion rather than the expression of the might of a powerful Empire. Someday, maybe in my lifetime, maybe not, Argentina will try again and the Brits will not have the power to stop them.
You've missed my point I think. It isn't about right or wrong. It's about the UK's ability to defend an insignificant territory an ocean away from an aggressor who's on its doorstep and who feels entitled to it. It's also about the UK citizen's desire to defend it (or more to the point, pay to defend it). Sending a fleet in 1922 would have been done without a second thought, sending it in 1982 was impressive and not as inevitable as some now think (it sure caught the Argentineans by surprise), sending one in 2012...2020....2030? I don't know.
Territory and national pride are funny things. Sometimes the one who gets it is the one who wants it more, right or wrong. Right now there is an island so insignificant that you'd need a good map to find it between Canada and Greenland yet both Canada and Denmark have gone as far as sending their military and federal ministers at times to plant flags on it. Or read about Ferdinandea/Graham Island if you want to read about something really foolish.
As for public support, the Britain of Empire (started when Sir Humphrey Gilbert claimed my hometown for Elizabeth I actually) days are dying. Young Brits are more and more seeing themselves as Europeans than independent, a thought that probably has Churchill spinning in his grave. I thought about this a few years ago as I stood in Heathrow going through customs. As I watched my aunt get questioned by customs officers while EU citizens walked effortlessly through on the other side of a glass wall, I thought what my great uncle, if he came with me that trip, would have thought. If I told him that he, a former tailgunner in a British Lancaster, would have to go through customs while Germans and Italians can walk in without a hitch, he probably wouldn't believe me. Heck, if he were alive and not died in the 1980s, my own Great Grandfather would have died of shock to hear it and might have had second thoughts about the OBE he has proudly inscribed on his headstone.
The world's changing. Argentina is getting stronger, the UK's naval reach is receding. Pretty soon the two are going to meet.
One thing that I feel confident in saying is that another conflict over the Islands will not be happening any time soon.
Much of this information is taken from some impressive BBC news articles.
Since 1990 there have been a lot of cut backs, and I'm not referring to the British Military. The Argentinian forces have shrunk dramatically; today their Air Force is still equipped with the same equipment it had in 1982 and has no amphibious attack capabilities.Meanwhile military experts believe the islands are now virtually impregnable. the construction of RAF Mount Pleasant with Typhoon strike fighters, a Hercules transport plane and VC-10 tanker plane. There are also Rapier missile batteries and a garrison of 1,200 making up the Falkland Islands Defence Force.
Furthermore its reported that Argentinian defence spending barely covers the wages of it's servicemen and women whilst they undertake local operations. Carlos Escude, a foreign affairs adviser to the previous government said "Our munitions would only last for a 25-hour shooting war against Paraguay. After that, Paraguay would invade us."
Mr Escudeis a supporter of President Fernandez's political policy for claiming the islands. Her policy hopes to encourage Britain into renegotiating agreements by getting the support of her South American neighbours, however an increasing movement away from prowestern neighbours has disrupted these efforts. Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru are increasingly concerned with Argentinian relations with Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and Iran. Recently Argentina has followed Bolivian and Venezuela in turning backs to US policy on drug enforcement, forcing the DEA to leave. Argentinian import restrictions have further angered the global community.
Most of this information is coming from the BBC which also says that the inflation rate is 7% yet private economists currently claiming it to be as high as 22%. this political discussion over the Islands is apparently a cover for internal issues.
Argentina is not getting stronger, the UK's Naval reach is not receding but without Aircraft carriers, and therefore a lack of air cover it would be very hard to retake the islands however for that scenario to occur the Falklands would have to be invaded- something that is very, very unlikely.
Interesting view. Would the UK still have allies in the region? I believe I read during the 1982 war they received much intelligence from Pinochet.
this political discussion over the Islands is apparently a cover for internal issues.
I agree with that completely. Getting people worked up over foreign interlopers is like plan A for a lot of failing governments.