Archive for Falkland Islands

Argentina’s Dirty Trick To Secure The Falkland Islands

Posted in America, Britain, England, Government, News, Politics, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, United Nations with tags , , , , on 29/03/2016 by floroy1942
The Falklands

The Falklands

Argentina is once again trying to secure the Falkland Islands, this time with the help of the United Nations. After they were soundly beaten during the Falklands war of 1982 they have never ceased to try and gain control of the islands, especially since the rich oil and gas fields were discovered.

Until now they have not had much luck as Britain has held fast onto its ownership of the islands. But now, through manipulation, they have made some progress when the U.N. allowed them to increase their territorial waters from 200 miles to 350 miles, which will bring the islands under their control.

The history of the Falklands is very complicated, but in a nutshell, the islands were thought to have been discovered by various nationalities in the 16th century, but nothing concrete was done about them until 1690 when John Strong named the sound and eventually the entire island group after Viscount Falkland the then Admiralty Commissioner.

The British, having later set up a garrison on the islands vacated them due to the pressure of the American War of Independence in 1774 but left behind a plaque stating their sovereignty over the islands. The islands were taken over by sealers and whalers until the Spanish returned for a time before leaving in 1811. In 1816 Argentina claimed independence from Spain which was recognized by Britain in 1825.

Port Louis 1833

Port Louis 1833

In 1840 the British government agreed to colonize the islands and a permanent settlement was established. In 1850 Britain and Argentina signed a pact for the “Settlement of Differences and Reestablishing Friendship”. Several historians consider this has a negative impact on Argentina’s current sovereignty claim. In 1888 Argentina lodges a diplomatic protest with the UK but the matter is not raised again until 1945 when they claimed sovereignty at the newly formed United Nations.

President Galtieri

President Galtieri

Argentina has made several attempts to gain access to the islands, until in 1982 they invaded with a military force but were squashed by the British. It is well known that the only reason for the invasion was to distract the Argentinian people from the corruption and bad management of the country by the government of the time. It worked!

Ever since the first colony was set up on the islands the people of the Falklands have said they wish to remain British, and would never consider Argentinian nationality or being a part of that country. It would seem however that the wishes of the people are not considered worthy of thought so far as the U.N. is concerned.

Falkland Oil And Gas Fields

Falkland Oil And Gas Fields

In the last twenty years huge oil and gas deposits have been discovered surrounding the islands, and as a consequence, in  2009 Argentina began a new attack through the United Nations by laying claim to the continental shelf on which the Falklands sits. By extending their territorial waters from 200 miles to 350 miles the islands now fall within their jurisdiction, but only from a deserted island at the southern tip of the country. From the mainland itself the distance is well over the new 350 mile limit.

It was however enough for the idiots at the U.N. to grant their claim, and they must have known that such a decision would cause a giant diplomatic upheaval. They must also have known what the ulterior motive of Argentina must be to gain control of the oil and gas reserves. I just wonder how many Argentinians sat on the U. N. panel?

It will be interesting to see how the British government react to this new provocation.

Roy.

Sean Penn Should Keep His Mouth Shut!

Posted in Britain, David Cameron, England, Human Rights, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , on 14/02/2012 by floroy1942

Don’t you get annoyed when silly personalities wishing to get some free publicity stick their noses into business that doesn’t concern them? The latest to join the ranks is Sean Penn, Hollywood star and big friend of Argentina. He had the nerve to call for David Cameron to enter into negotiations with the Argentina government over the Falklands issue.

"Pull the Trigger Man - Pull the Trigger!"

Following the Argentine Presidents line he called Britain ‘Colonial’ saying: “It’s necessary that these diplomatic talks happen between the United Kingdom and Argentina. I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology.” Bloody cheek!!!!!!!!!!

How Chummy!

Always a strong supporter of South American nationalism he posed for a photo with President Kirchner when making his announcement, referring to the Falkland Islands as “The Malvinas of Argentina”. He is reported to be a strong supporter of Hugo Chavez and its anybody’s guess as to why he is so in love with South America. I do not care how many films he has made and how many Oscars he has, he should stick to the thing he knows best, acting!

Falklanders in the UK Border Agency?

It seems he hasn’t spared a single thought for the islanders and their wishes. I wonder what he would say if he actually took the trouble to visit the islands and talk to the people. He seems quite content to forget their human rights. I think he had better not go there now, for he may never leave alive! So far as I’m concerned, he better not come to Britain in the near future either! Personally, I would stop him at the airport and declare him ‘Persona Non Grata!” In fact, why don’t we hire some Islanders and give them a job in Passport Control! Stupid pompous little ass!

Roy.

The Argentine President is Making Herself Look Ridiculous

Posted in Britain, England, Human Rights, Relationships, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Security Council, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , on 09/02/2012 by floroy1942

As just about everyone knows, the Falklands issue has once again hit the headlines in a war of words between the British and Argentine governments. Now however President Christine Kirchner is making herself look ridiculous just to please the electorate at home.

Argentinian President – A Desperate Woman

Referring to the sending of HMS Dauntless to the islands, and the arrival of Prince William on a six-week rotation, in her latest outburst in Buenos Aries she said, “The question of the Malvinas has stopped being just an Argentinean cause. It has become a Latin American cause. It is a global cause”. She continued, “I have instructed our foreign secretary to submit before the UN security council and the UN assembly this militarization, which is a serious risk to to international security”. A global cause? A serious risk to international security? Really Madam, that is surely bordering on paranoia is it not? It is one ship and a search and rescue pilot!

Prince William Doing His Duty – Nothing More

She also complains that the Prince wears the uniform of an RAF pilot and says he should wear plain clothes. Dammit women, he is in the military and our forces have not yet introduced the idea of going to war in civilian clothes (although this may be another way for the MOD to save money. Hmmm!)!

I wonder what she will say if Prince William is involved in the rescue of Argentinean seamen if one of their vessels gets into trouble and is sinking? I have no doubt this would put her in a quandary, and she will be left standing with her mouth open wondering how to handle it. Such an event would sure as hell take the wind out of her sails.

Argentine P.O.W’s 1982

Britain has, quite rightly in my view, maintained an increased military presence on the island ever since the Falklands war of 1982, and who can  blame them for that. Even President Kirchner admits the 1982 invasion of the islands was a move by the then military junta to divert attention away from the problems on the home front. The islands are 7,000 miles away from our shores and the islanders are British and wish to stay that way.

This is an important point, for the simple reason the United Nations Charter on Human Rights states the inalienable right of people to self-determination. In other words, no-one can force the islanders to accept Argentinean rule, and Argentina cannot force themselves upon them.

UN Security Council – Not Likely to Take the Bait

So all in all, I doubt very much that the UN Security Council will give much credence to this macabre joke by Kirchner. The only fly in the ointment is the United States who have already sided with Argentina on the Falklands issue in this latest round, for their own ends of course! It is now well known there is a massive oil field in the waters surrounding the islands, and once exploration is completed and drilling can begin, guess who will be looking for the lion’s share of the drilling contracts. Need I say more?

Should Argentina win this political battle for the Falklands with the backing of Washington, you can bet most, if not all the contracts will go to American companies. Should Britain retain the islands it will be British companies. That is what is behind this current diplomatic spat, and you can rest assured it will not go away until the oil runs out, and then no-one will give a damn about the islands.

John MacBride – Founder of the First Settlement

The history of the Falklands is extremely complicated, but in a nutshell, it was first discovered by Europeans in the 16th century, possibly by Ferdinand Magellan. Between 1592 and 1690 the islands were visited by various British ships, and were in fact named after Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland in 1690. France established a colony on the eastern island in 1764 and a British settlement was established on the western island in 1766 by Captain John Macbride, who was unaware of the French. The French eventually agreed to leave and the eastern island was taken over by the Spanish, ruling from Buenos Aries. Under economic pressures brought about by the American War of Independence the British left the islands in 1776, leaving behind a plaque claiming the Islands.

From Buenos Aries, Spain ruled the islands until 1811 but withdrew under pressure of the Napoleonic wars raging in Europe. In 1832 Buenos Aries set up a penal colony on the island. In 1833 Britain sent a sloop under the command of Captain James Onslow to reclaim the islands, which he did, having asked the Spanish officials to leave.

Port Stanley – Island Capital

So you see, at various times since the 15th century, various countries have claimed the islands, and it was more Spain that occupied them rather than Argentina itself, for the country did not exist during this period, but was no more than a Spanish colony. Britain was the only country to maintain an occupancy for any length of time. During the Spanish occupation it was mostly seal hunters that visited the islands. Argentina finally became a country in its own right after the Peninsula War against the Spanish and was recognized by Britain in 1825.

So if you go back and examine the history of the Falklands, it becomes clear that Argentina has actually little or no claim on the islands, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary. No, I believe the driving factor here is the oil. Currently, we may only be scratching the surface of the amount of oil hidden away under the seabed around these disputed islands, and when push comes to shove, that’s what its all about.

Falkland Oil Fields

The British company that is carrying out the search for undersea oil is Rockhopper, and they have already discovered a field estimated to hold 700million barrels of oil which they named ‘Sea Lion’. The company needs an injection of cash to extend the search and work the ‘Sea Lion’ field, and is currently searching for a partner.

James Hackett – CEO of Anadarko

One American company looks like getting in ‘on the ground floor’ – Anadarko, with close ties to the American Ministry of Defence. Two British and four American companies have expressed interest (naturally), but its Andarko that is currently in negotiations with Rockhopper, having had a meeting with them a couple of weeks ago.

Chief Negotiator of the Islands Penguins Setting Compensation Limits for Oil Contamination

Apparently this has enraged President Kirchner, who sees a golden opportunity of using American muscle to get her own way with the oil contracts as bait, slip through her fingers. It seems from this standpoint, that the best way out of the crisis for Britain may well be to allow some American companies in, in which case Argentina will be completely shut out. Whoever wins the contracts, I hope the islanders get their fair share of the loot. As to the penquins, I doubt they will care very much (so long as we don’t get any oil spills). Like many others, I will await the outcome.

Roy.

HMS Dauntless Goes To The Falklands

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, England, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 02/02/2012 by floroy1942

It seems the only thing Britain can do to stop the Argentinians from taking over the Falkland Islands, is to send our newest, most up-to-date warship, HMS Dauntless, a type 45 Destroyer.

HMS Dauntless – Can She Do It Alone?

From the rhetoric you would think Dauntless can stop any future invasion single-handed! One Navy source is quoted as saying, Dauntless could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s.” Another said: “It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from their bases. This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.” Hmmm! Ever hear of a stand-off missile or well-aimed torpedo matey?

Dauntless Fires A Sea Viper Missile

Dauntless is equipped with Sea Viper anti-aircraft missiles and Sampson radar which is said to be more powerful than that of Heathrow airport. It is hailed as the most advanced and sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world, and according to the Navy, could defend the Falkland islanders from air attack all on its own. Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, sent this message to the Argentine government:  “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.” That is an enormous amount of faith to put in a new ship and its crew. One can only hope its anti-submarine defences are as good as its anti-aircraft defences.

I did predict in an earlier post  that since the demise of our carrier fleet and the harrier jets in the last round of defence cuts, the Falkland islanders would be practically defenceless. https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/falklands-to-be-handed-over-to-argentina/

General Sir Mike Jackson

It seems I am not the only one with that view, for last week, General Sir Mike Jackson, a former head of the Army, stated just that by saying: “The demise of jets capable of launching from aircraft carriers would make it just about impossible to recover key strategic strongholds” He went on further to say: “The official answer will be that it would not be possible for the Argentinians to gain a foothold on the islands, in particular to take Mount Pleasant airfield, which is key to the British defence plan. We have a large international-sized airfield to allow for very rapid reinforcement by air, should circumstances so require. But I suppose I have learned in life, never say never. What if an Argentinian force was able to secure the airfield? Then our ability to recover the islands now would be just about impossible”.

Mainstay Of The Islands Defence – The Eurofighter

From the current information available, it would seem the government is putting all its faith in the four Eurofighter aircraft based at Port Stanley airfield that would ‘hold the fort’ long enough for reinforcements to be flown out from the UK. Four fighters against an invading force backed up by the Argentine Air Force does not seem like a lot, no matter how advanced the Eurofighter is. It would take only one or two bombs on the runway to put the airfield out of action and give the fighters nowhere to land. Not only that, but any reinforcements would have no option but to ditch in the sea.

The Ascension Islands – A Vital Refuelling Stop

The next great flaw in the plan is the presumption that the American’s would allow refuelling of  any aircraft flown out from the UK at Ascension Island in the Mid-Atlantic, even though it belongs as such to Britain. The American’s, who share the island for intelligence gathering, have exerted more and more influence over what goes on there, all due to the oil finds around the Falklands. In 1982 they did not object to the British Fleet refuelling there, but it is far from certain they would this time. American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has already made it plain America is backing Argentina for a negotiated settlement of the Falkland Island sovereignty. So the chances of help from that quarter look mighty slim. Without the refuelling capabilities of Ascension Island, any operation against the Falklands is a non-starter. That goes for ships as well as planes.

The Falkland Oil Field

It would not be unreasonable for someone to question why all this political sabre rattling is going on over what is really a small insignificant couple of islands in the South Atlantic. Oil! That’s what! The Argentine heart has quickened now they know there are huge oil reserves buried under the seabed around the islands. I am pretty sure that is the reason for American interest and it’s backing for Argentina in the war of words, plus the sudden change in its ‘special relationship’ with Britain. People should have learned by now that the American government doesn’t do anything unless its in America’s interest.

The defence cuts may have been hailed as good for the government’s purse, but with all that oil in the mix I have a sneaking suspicion the whole thing could unravel in the not too distant future. I sincerely hope not.

Roy.

Falklands To Be Handed Over To Argentina?

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, Budget Cuts, Conservative Party, David Cameron, England, Government, Liberal Party, Nick Clegg, Obama, Parliament, President, Relationships, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 15/06/2011 by floroy1942

Not a pretty thought, but its coming unless the Argentinians are asleep!

Admiral ‘Sandy’ Woodward

In January I wrote about the affect the current defence review will have on the future of the Falklands, and this week my view has been vindicated by none other than Admiral Sandy Woodward, who led the task force that recaptured the islands after the Argentinian invasion in 1982.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/will-the-current-defence-review-cost-britain-the-falklands/

The Harrier – Even Able To Operate from a Merchant Ship

That he and I are of a similar mind comes as no surprise when you look at what the defence review has done to the Royal Navy. The loss of our aircraft carriers and its fleet of Harrier jets must have caused jubilation in the halls of power in Buenos Aires.

With the substantial weakening of the navy the sole means of defence for the Falklands depends on approximately 1,000 RAF personnel and between 500 and 1.000 Army troops stationed at Mount Pleasant. There were until recently only four aging Tornado aircraft at the airfield, but according to politicians in Whitehall the islands can quickly be reinforced by air from the UK at short notice.

Bombers View of Port Stanley Airfield

Any idiot can see that one Argentine aircraft loaded with bombs could put the runway, and therefore the airfield, at Stanley out of commission, and these ‘reinforcements’ would be ditching in the sea, or crashing on land, when they ran out of fuel. Admiral Woodward made this point clearly. There can be little doubt that without the Royal Navy carrier force the islands are lost.

The most worrying, and sinister development, is that the American government now clearly backs the Argentine claim to the islands. This has nothing to do with the so-called ‘Special Relationship’ the politicians are always crowing about between the United States and Britain, which in my view is now just a sham and only exists for as long as it serves America’s interests. I think the American government look upon Britain as a pet puppy these days, good for a laugh, and occasionally useful re: Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Thatcher/Reagan Special Relationship

Even in 1982 their was much sympathy for the Argentine position in America, but the special relationship (which was then real) between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Regan overruled the general consensus of opinion and top politicians adopted a neutral stance over the issue.

Today we have the Obama administration, and their idea of ‘the relationship’ is different.

At last weeks meeting of the Organisation of American States the USA representative signed a statement supporting Argentine’s claim to the islands calling them ‘The Malvina’s’, which is the Argentine name for the islands. So it is clear which way America will vote.

Clinton at the OAS Conference:

The Falklands Supply Chain

This is a major problem if (read when) Argentina invade again because the Ascension Islands, halfway between Britain and the Falklands, are a vital resupply and fuelling point for any task force, and its an American base. Obviously, refusal by the American’s to allow use of their base would effectively cut off completely any attempt by Britain to regain the islands if we see a repeat of the 1982 invasion. And naturally, that is not counting the fact that we no longer have a carrier force. To put it bluntly, the Royal Navy no longer has the capacity to defend the Falklands !

True, there are plans to build a new force of modern carriers, but the first is not due to be commissioned until 2020, so Argentina has the next nine years in which to invade and consolidate their position in the Falklands. It is fairly certain that should this happen the USA will back the action.

But why? The answer is oil!

Where the black gold is concerned no-one, especially the American’s, have little consideration for anything else, let alone United Nations Resolution 2065 from 1965 which still stands. Item 1 (paraphrased) reads: “bearing in mind……. the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas);”

Read it for yourself if you wish:

http://www.falklands.info/history/resolution2065.html

I was happy to hear the Prime Minister confirm in the House of Commons that the Falklands would remain British so long as the islanders wished it. Needless to say, this statement did not go down too well in Argentina.

It was discovered some time ago that there are massive oil and natural gas reserves  under the ocean close to the islands. There can be little doubt that America wants a piece of the ‘pie’, and what better way to get it than be ‘buddy’s’ with Argentina who for sure will be happy to hand over drilling rights in return for the islands. The USA will get the oil and gas and the Argentinians will also get rich from the revenue’s.

British Falklanders – And Proud Of It!

So you see, now the Argentinians have the backing of the USA, they will have nothing to fear on the world stage when they invade again, so  everyone will be happy, except that is for Britain, and the Falkland islanders.

All nice and neat, well, for everyone except us that is! For not only will our country have been humiliated on the world stage, but the Falklanders will have lost their identity, and we will have lost our share of the wealth lying under the southern atlantic ocean. What price the ‘special relationship then’?

I sincerely hope someone points all this out to our present coalition government!

 Roy.

Will The Current Defence Review Cost Britain the Falklands?

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, Budget Cuts, England, Government, Government Spending, Insanity, MP's, Oceans, Parliament, Royal Navy, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27/01/2011 by floroy1942

As always, defence spending is the first thing to be cut when money is seen to be tight. And as usual, the politicians make the same stupid, short-sighted decisions. It seems the present Coalition is no different.

HMS Ark Royal

Currently, the Royal Navy is to be hit hard in that its aircraft carrier fleet is to be scrapped. True, two new carriers are supposed to be built to replace those we have now, but apart from the fact they will not be ready until somewhere around 2017, their future is now in doubt even though construction has begun, and in which £1 billion has already been invested.

Hopefully, One of The Royal Navy's New Carriers

All branches of the armed forces will be hit, but by far the most significant is the proposed phasing out of all three aircraft carriers by 2015. Ark Royal has already been decommissioned, and Invincible and Illustrious are soon to follow. This will leave Britain without a single carrier until around 2017 when, hopefully, maybe, the navy will receive their two replacements at a cost. This cost is a significant reduction in their surface ships to help pay for the new carriers.

It’s like the Falklands war of 1982 never happened!

Without her aircraft carriers, Britain would have stood helplessly by while Argentina took over the islands at their leisure after the invasion, with no amount of harsh words from Margaret Thatcher making any difference.

A Harrier Lands on Deck

As it was, our carrier force with their Harrier VTOL aircraft, was the only thing Britain had in its military arsenal that could effectively strike back at the invaders. As we all know, the entire operation was a resounding success.

But what of today and the near future?

It would seem the current government has forgotten the lessons of the past, and are ready and willing to make the same mistakes when the scrapping of the CVA01 carriers almost cost us the Falklands.

The Argentine government must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a neutered Royal Navy who will be helpless should they try again in three or four years time. I’ll bet their generals have already started making plans for a new invasion of the islands, knowing full well the British will have no choice but to stand impotent on the sidelines.

The Mighty Vulcan Bomber

Since that conflict in 1982 the RAF has also suffered significant cuts to its budget and aircraft. During the previous conflict, the Vulcan and Victor cold-war bombers played a key role with their huge range of action, bombing targets like the runway at Stanley airfield and attacking the radar installations on the island. They too are long gone! Now Britain has no bombers at all with the range to strike at the Falklands.

The Harrier fleet, which proved so effective against the Argentinean air force has been decommissioned also, but that doesn’t seem to stop the politicians from a proposal which will see a scaling down of the number of Joint-Strike fighters to be ordered.

The Falklands

As I see it, this defence review will prove to be a catastrophe for the Falkland islanders, who in my view had better start learning Argentinean, for in about four years time they will need it.

Roy.


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