March 3, 2010

Falkland diplomacy a precursor to war?

That Hillary Clinton fell into a diplomatic pit on the Falklands is no real surprise. What might be a surprise is why the issue is showing up 28 years after a decisive war to settle the subject.

As I mentioned previously, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon didn't fall for the Argentinian ploy to renounce British rule of the islands, or to be even drawn into the dispute beyond encouraging peaceful solutions.
In political news Argentina’s Foreign Minister met today with the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, to press for support over the Falklands issues. Although the Foreign Minister emerged from the meeting uttering the same soundbites as other Argentinian leaders have recently, there has been a telling silence from Ban and the UN. Hopefully he is far too clever and impartial to be drawn into what is essentially South American power-play politics.
Sure enough, British efforts to drill for oil, the real reason for the dispute over the islands, has attracted Argentinian attention. But in a great series of analyses on the military situation, Daily History explains while Argentina might be ready to flex it's muscle now. In addition to being preoccupied helping out in Afghanistan, British readiness to fight a second Falklands war is quite diminished;
So although there are some pretty depressing negatives, there are some positives to take from this analysis: some new and improved capabilities such as Tomahawk, more experienced and better equipped troops, and a better command system and culture.

However compared to these positives, the negatives are overpowering. With weaker air defence a task force would be much more vulnerable, particularly in the amphibious phase. The critical lack of Destroyers and Frigates would leave gaps in our anti-air, anti-surface and gunfire support roles. But the state of the RFA and the Merchant Navy might make the launching of any task force a non-starter simply due to an ability to maintain it logistically. It is hard to see the point of having such a strong Amphibious group if we are unable to protect it or to maintain it.

Against this background, the next natural step is to question what exactly the Government intends for British Defence policy. Effectively British Forces rely on friendly sea based air cover, and allied Destroyers and Frigates to assist in escorting and air defence. The Royal Navy is also reliant on friendly logistical support. While the Government espouses a Global Defence policy, the Royal Navy is effectively unable to operate Globally due to a lack of resources.
Are Argentina's Falkland diplomatic efforts a precursor to war? With the U.S. not seeming likely to reciprocate help for teh English, Great Britain's diminished capacity to fight, and the Argentine economy coming off it's worst economic crisis since the 2002-2003 economic collapse - maybe so.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disagreement is always welcome. Please remain civil. Vulgar or disrespectful comments towards anyone will be removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This