Falkland Islanders believe UK defence cuts leave them safe from Argentine threat

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Hugh McManners, Nov 15, 2010.

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  1. A Falkland Island editorial strongly disagrees with the Royal Navy’s insistence that scrapping Harrier, while also failing to provide aircraft for the new aircraft carrier (and other cuts), leaves the Islands vulnerable to Argentine territorial ambitions. But is this view short-sighted?

    The Falkland editorial also accuses the UK media of overplaying what it and the Falkland Government say is a ‘non-existent Argentine military threat’ to the Islands, while “shamefully’ ignoring Argentina’s determined economic, political and diplomatic harassment. The editorial lists current and considerable Argentine harassment of the Islands (details in the link), which seem to me to indicate that Argentina is MORE likely in future to consider military action to achieve its strong desire to own the Falklands.

    (to read the full text of this article please click the “more” button, or the link)

  2. And your point is Hugh?


  3. If that is what the people of the Islands belive they could get another nasty shock ala may 82 cos govenments are in general not be belived
  4. I'm sorry Hugh, but that is a very weak article for you. I think you're letting your experiences of 1982 colour your judgement.
    Argentina essentially still has the military it had in 1982, only with 28 years of added wear and tear. Those four Typhoon are more capable than the entire air element deployed to the Falklands in 1982 and would have no trouble destroying the entire FAA (the Dago one, not ours) with the pilot asleep at the stick. In any event, they could be augmented in days few.
    MPA is a fortress. Argentina has no ability to move enough men and materials to overpower the sheep, never mind the garrison or the FIDF.
    Argentina's strategy is going to be economic and political. It is that threat that needs to be countered, not an imaginary invasion MkII.
    The FI of now are not in any way comparable to those of 28 years ago.
  5. But Ottar, have you not realised just how 'easy' it would be to 'take out' the runway at MPA?

    After all, it should be much easier to do in MPA with Skyhawks, than Stanley Airfield with a Vulcan, Sea Harrier and Naval gunfire! ;-)
  6. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    My arm chair general/politician view is that the current Argentinian Government is unlikely to try a military adventure to recover 'Los Malivinas' but it would not take much for Argentina to go wobbly and for a new government to think that military adventure might be popular and to misunderstand our military/political posture as being unwilling or unable to defend the Falklands which might lead them to believe that such a popular adventure might bring favourable results this time.

    Ottar is correct that we should be able to defend the FI with the air assets but as Gassing Badgers points out if they take out the airfield it's a different game. In theory they should not be able to do that but maybe they could get lucky.
  7. The one thing that has changed since 1982 is the discovery of approximately 6bn barrels of oil on the FI continental shelf.
    1 ) At a current price of U$S80 / barrel , we are talking about a lot more than national pride and a few sheep.
    2 ) Argentina are becoming increasingly pally with China who buy all their soy bean (70 m tonnes worth ) production
    plus loads of other commodities as well .
    3 ) The president , Christina Kirchner , was only supposed to be minding the shop while her hubby had a 4 year break .
    He's now dead , and she needs to build a power base of her own to get herself taken seriously and re- elected next year.
    4 ) According to Wikileaks , Hillary Clinton thinks she is unstable and questions her sanity.
    5 )The Malvinas is an open sore with them anyway , and now they have more oil under them than Dubai .
    6 )Their forces are itching to restore their honour in the eyes of the nation and make up for the Dirty War
    and the '82 f*ck up.
    7 )It would not take long for China to re equip the Argentine forces out of stuff lying in stores.

    The FI could bite our govt. in the arrse .

    Keep the Harriers and the Ark Royal , RFA's and as many destroyers as you can.
  8. Falkland Islanders would be better off buying their own weaponry, and preparing their own defences - the UK gubmint hardly seems inclined to even consider defence of the UK mainland itself...
  9. I think the more pertinent question is 'If we lost the islands and the Argentines had access to Mount Pleasant what chance would we have of getting it back with carrier air of any type?'. I'd suggest that the answer is Nil. Given that it would take 3 weeks to get a carrier down there any successful invasion should be able to get the runway repaired before we arrived.
  10. difficult certainly, but perhaps not impossible.

    the pertinent question is 'how many cruise missiles/SSN's would it take to degrade/deny MPA for enough time to allow a carrier to get from outside the absolute limit of AAF range to close enough to MPA for the carriers aircraft to put MPA out of use permanently?'...
  11. Falklands Round II in the foreseeable future is fantasy.

    First, and perhaps most importantly, they are no longer ruled by a brutal and desperate military junta on the verge of collapse that wants to unite the country with some good old fashioned jingoism

    Second, after the beating they took in 1982 the Argentine people don't want to see a repeat. Sure,they tend to get very nationalistic and start spouting shite over the Internet about 'Los Malvinas' and 'English Pirates!!' and other such bollocks, but the heart for a war just isn't there.

    Third, even if they did want to start another war over it, they don't currently have the capability. Their army has changed very little since 1982. They have all the same equipment but its even more rusty. They don't have a navy worthy of the name and they certainly don't have any significant amphibious and transport capabilities.

    Fourth, Britain's defence force on the island is far better then what it was in 1982. In 1982 it was made up of 62 Marines. Now its made up of 500 soldiers who spend their entire deployments training for such an invasion (in fact, I am sure there is a fair few members here who have been there). Its also got AA missiles, 4 Typhoons and a state-of-the-art Type 42 destroyer on standby for such an incident. You can also be sure we will have a sub nearby as well, and if anything looks like it might kick off or if the Argies start remilitarising this force can be reinforced.

    Fifth, after 1982 it would be political suicide for any British politician to let the islands fall

    Sixth, surely carriers are only neccesary if the islands actually fall and need to be retaken ala 1982? Based off the above points, that is very unlikely indeed to happen.
  12. Actually, your 500 soldiers who spend their whole deployments training was, at least as recently as 2006, much less, and they spent as much of their time as possible drinking in one of the 12+ legal, myriad of illegal, bars.
  13. Okay, make that a couple of hundred soldiers who spend their deployment getting sloshed. Still better then anything the Argies could throw at them even if they did have the amphibious troop carrying capabilities.
  14. [
    First, and perhaps most importantly, they are no longer ruled by a brutal and desperate military junta on the verge of collapse that's wants to unite the country with some good old fashioned jingoism

    No , they are ruled by an excitable and unstable widow who needs to build a power base of her own .

    Also , there is a lot of lawlessness and insecurity throughout the country due to her insistence on criminals' human rights over the safety of the population at large and lastly , inflation is getting out of control due to the country's double digit growth rate .

    The last time you had all of the above was in 1976 when Peron's widow was overthrown by the military , a coup that was supported
    AT THE TIME by most of the population , and this could happen again , though I agree its unlikely .

    Also , let us not forget that her closest political allies in the region are none other than Chavez and Raul Castro .

    Finally , don't forget the oil reserves . They change the whole ball game.
  15. It does raise the question of who has done more damage to the UK's defence, Cameron or Brown.