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News Falklands dispute

  1. Feb 11, 2012 #1

    Ryan_m_b

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    In recent weeks the relationship between Argentina and Britain has gone sour again over the disputed Falkland Islands. Since the brief war 30 years ago Britain has kept a constant military presence on the island (the reason Argentina managed to take the islands so easily in the first place was the near non-existent military presence Britain had in the region in 1982 after the removal of HMS Endurance leaving just a handful of marines to defend the islands).

    The latest dispute is over the replacement of HMS Montrose (and old model frigate) with HMS Dauntless (a new model destroyer) which the Argentine government claims counts as militarisation of the South Atlantic. They've also claimed that a nuclear submarine has been deployed to the area, an accusation that has been described as "absurd" by UK officials (the deployment of nuclear submarines is a classified matter anyway).

    I'd like to get some opinions of non-UK (as well as UK) citizens because from the perspective over here arguing over the Falklands seems bizzare. Interviews with the islanders reveal that they want to remain as they are and don't want to be governed by Argentina so I'm interested to know especially of any Argentinian/South American views on this. Why are the Falkland islands a big political issue? Why not leave the islanders as they are?

    To stake my opinion if the Islanders wanted to be called the Malvinas and wanted to be under Argentine rule or self rule I would be whole-heartedly supporting that as well. Is this all just political sabre rattling or do the general populous of Argentina (and the other South American countries that refuse to trade with Falkland sailors) genuinely feel the islanders should be made to go under Argentine rule? Another question is what do Argentines and others think about the UK increasing its defence of the island? It wouldn't be needed if the threat of invasion wasn't there.

    One last point; budget cuts to the UK's military over the last few years have significantly weakened its capability. It was in the process of replacing its aircraft carriers and the planes that operate on them with the goal of having a gradual switch over but controversially a few years ago this plan was accelerated so that all but one of our aircraft carriers has been decommissioned (with the new "super" carriers not coming online for a few years yet) and the planes that operate on them such as the harrier have been taken out of service (not to be replaced until the joint strike fighter is introduced, again some years yet). According to various analysts I've seen on the news this is why preventing the islands being taken by increasing the garrison makes more sense because retaking would be harder.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2012 #2
    Only people in the UK really follow the Falklands debate, it is a largely unknown dispute to the rest of Europe except for the Falklands war. I have no idea if when you start playing military tactical games there is any real advantage for the UK to hold on to it. It always seemed to be about sovereignty, but now also is about oil, so the ante went considerably up since that last war.

    (Also, I don't think a lot of people care about this conflict. In case of another war, most of Europe will just grab the nachos and watch it on television. Somehow, it's less interesting than a Middle East conflict.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  4. Feb 12, 2012 #3

    Ryan_m_b

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    Perhaps you missed my main point; considering the islanders do not want to be taken over by Argentina why are so many countries supporting Argentina's claim? In fact why do people in Argentina even want to take over a series of islands who would rather not?
    That's a pretty sick comment to make. If that was an attempt at humour then you failed utterly.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2012 #4
    As far as I know, the Falklands were somewhere in history forcibly taken from Argentina, conversely the UK thought it had a claim whereas Argentina disputed that.

    Personally, I think it is mostly up to the islanders since I don't believe in historical claims.

    The level of indifference varies between conflicts. Sometimes, the world is sick.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2012 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Agreed. Any kind of "people long dead who existed before anyone today was born who identified themselves as the same nationality as me were grievanced by people long dead who existed before anyone today was born who identified themselves as the same nationality as you" just strikes me as bonkers.
    Depressingly agreed.
     
  7. Feb 12, 2012 #6
    It was a very cynical remark. But then again, sometimes biting the bullet opens the road to positive action. Concretely, nothing has happened yet, only some remarks were made by politicians, so I am not worried.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2012 #7

    tiny-tim

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    it's not the land, it's the sea …

    the argentinians think it's unfair that such a tiny island should make such a large hole in what would otherwise be argentina's exclusive and valuable fishing and mineral rights
     
  9. Feb 13, 2012 #8
    in my opinion: the Falklands belong to the UK because the UK currently owns them and can defend them.
     
  10. Feb 13, 2012 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    Hmm a bit of googling reveals that the territorial waters of the Falklands are meant to be 12 nautical miles from the coast. However googling for pictures shows things like this that seem much larger. Unless I'm misunderstanding and the Maritime/Total Exclusion Zone set up during the war is still in effect?
     
  11. Feb 13, 2012 #10

    tiny-tim

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  12. Feb 13, 2012 #11

    Borek

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  13. Feb 13, 2012 #12

    MATLABdude

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    The vast majority of the Islanders seem to want to remain British, so I'd say that's that. Even an attempt to buy them out wasn't received particularly well (or maybe the offer just wasn't high enough):
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...r-could-be-offered-475000-pounds-1460603.html

    Given that Scotland and Wales are looking at independence, I don't see where the Brits are being hypocritical on the issue of self-determination.
     
  14. Feb 13, 2012 #13

    Ryan_m_b

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    Ahhh that makes sense. Looking at the UK section of that wiki it seems like the Falklands accounts for ~8% of the UK's EEZ. Naively I'd say that the obvious answer would be to simply draw the EEZ boundary precisely in the middle of the two lands.
    I'm all for self determination.
     
  15. Feb 13, 2012 #14
    I have nothing but the deepest contempt for the suggestion that Britain’s preparadness to defend the Falkland Islands has anything whatever to do with the prospect of oil reserves being found in their proximity. Such a notion is not supported by any kind of understanding of actual events. The Falkland Islanders might well choose independence if such a thing were feasible with such predatory neighbours. As it is, the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British and to fail to defend them would constitute a betrayal. In 1982 and today, the British government defends the Falkland Islands not because of its moral rights. It defends them because of its moral duty. There is nothing more to it than that.
     
  16. Feb 27, 2012 #15
    Without Sea Harriers Britain would have had far less ability to retake the Falklands in 1982, and since the Government is in the process of scrapping Sea Harriers they will have to maintain a strong force in the Islands to prevent another takeover by Argentina, The Islanders wish to remain British and that is the main consideration, Britain does not benefit in any financial way by holding on to the Islands
     
  17. Feb 27, 2012 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    Apart from the oil wells in the sea territory that Britain claims. But I agree with you though. I'm interested and confused as to why anyone thinks that Argentina (who are now turning away cruise ships that have been suspected to have visited the Falklands) has a valid claim.
     
  18. Feb 27, 2012 #17
    The Falkland Islands are utterly devoid of financial or strategic benefit to anyone. And Argentinian claims to the territory have no basis whatever.

    The bald reality is that, if significant retrievable oil reserves are found anywhere in their proximity, then the way of life of the Falkland Islanders is doomed whomsoever holds sovereignty. If the United Nations could do anything of service to the Falkland Islands, it would be to place a total exclusion zone around them specifically to exclude any and all activity related to exploration for or retrieval of oil and gas. And if that made the actual retrieval of any discovered oil reserves impractical, then so be it. It won’t happen of course, and that is why it is greatly to be hoped that either there are no oil reserves in their proximity, or, whatever reserves there are prove impractical to retrieve. That way the Falkland Islanders can continue their lives unmolested and the Argentinians can continue to call them whatever they like.
     
  19. Mar 28, 2012 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    Whilst keeping abreast of the situation I've found this article by the BBC (good but possibly a bit bias) that summarises the competing claims for those still interested:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17045169
     
  20. Mar 28, 2012 #19

    jim hardy

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    What's in Antarctica ? Are not Britain's claims there based on Falklands?

    or am i fifty years behind?

    In 1981 a Englishman visited our office and I asked him about their interest in the islands. His reply was "A few thousand of our blokes who want to stay British."
    Sounded logical enough. We wouldnt want to give away Hawaii.
     
  21. Mar 28, 2012 #20

    Ryan_m_b

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    I don't think based on, about a century ago when Britain was reafirming claims over the Falklands it did so over some Antarctic Territory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Antarctic_Territory

    Considering no claims of Antarctic Territory by any country are really respected it's a bit of a pointless thing anyway. Ideally I'd love to see the antarctic treaty extended but I'm skeptical.
    That's pretty much the size of it. The majority of the population of the islands who are the descendants of some settlers hundreds of years ago identify as British and want to remain that way. If they wanted to become Argentinian I would be shaking their hand and saying goodbye, I really think it should be down to them.
     
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