Malvinas Spat ( United Kindgom beating war drums )


Mar 26, 2009
This has heated up dramatically today with Argentina seizing a ship connected to the illegal oil drilling off Malvinas with a potential find larger than 60 billion barrels . The greedy British are making agressive noises and threatening Argentina with their military might . Read below
Britain’s relations with Argentina fell last night to their lowest point since the Falklands conflict in a row over an oil platform that is due to arrive north of Port Stanley next week.
The Ocean Guardian is expected to complete its journey to the disputed waters 100 miles off the Falklands coast from the Scottish Highlands as part of a campaign that Britain hopes will bring a black-gold rush to the windswept, sparsely populated islands.
But, almost three decades after Britain and Argentina fought a bloody 72-day conflict over the islands, its impending arrival has stoked fury in a country that is still intent on claiming the territory as its own.
Amid an intensifying war of words, Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana warned on Thursday night that his Government would take “all measures necessary to preserve our rights.He reiterated that Argentina had a “permanent claim” on the islands, saying Buenos Aires would complain to the UN over the oil project and might take the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Unconfirmed reports by the waiting crew claimed the platform had been shadowed by Argentine aircraft as it made its journey. The Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they were unable to confirm the reports. Desire Petroleum, the company heading the operations, and AGR Petroleum Services, which willl operate the platform, said they were not aware of any fly-over.
As Buenos Aires said it would take all necessary steps to prevent the “illegal” operations in Las Malvinas, as they are known in Argentina, the Falklands government warned against such sabre-rattling, pointing out the high level of military protection the islands enjoyed. Britain has more than 1,000 military personnel on land and more than 300 at sea in the region, as well as four Typhoon aircraft, one destroyer and one patrol boat.
“We’re very well defended,” said Phyllis Rendall, director of the islands’ Department of Mineral Resources. “We’ve got four of those Eurofighters. We certainly didn’t have that kind of protection in 1982. Back then we had only 50 Marines.”
The British Foreign Office denied that the oil operations were illegal. “We are absolutely clear this is legitimate business in Falkland Islands waters and we will continue to reiterate our position that we have no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and the surrounding maritime areas,” a spokesman said.
Analysts say that as many as 60 billion barrels of high-grade oil could be found in a 200 sq mile zone surrounding the islands, which is to be developed by Desire, AGR and Diamond Offshore Drilling. That could make the Falklands one of the world’s largest oil reserves, comparable with the North Sea, which so far has produced about 40 billion barrels.
The Falklands government noted that in 2007 Argentina tore up an agreement between Britain and Argentina to co-operate over hydrocarbon discoveries. “I don’t think they’re really willing to share at all,” Ms Rendall said. “They’re all about land-grabbing. It’s a matter of national pride.”
While the Falklands dispute is long settled in the British consciousness, in Argentina — where school textbooks show Las Malvinas as part of the national territory — it remains a thorny subject. The Argentine leader, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has made the country’s claim a key theme of her presidency, rousing nationalist sensibilities around a cause which has become even more significant with the approach of presidential elections next year.
On the last anniversary of the war, Mrs Kirchner insisted that the claim “would never be surrendered” and demanded Britain adhere to UN resolutions requiring dialogue.
In January Britain rejected Argentina’s latest claim to the territory occupied by the British in 1833, and wants to extend its rights to waters surrounding the islands and lock in a vast tract of seabed off the coast of Antarctica.

Some of the letters to Time Online have been exceptionally agressive towards Argentina threatening Buenos Aires with bombardment. What people will do for money never ceases to amaze me. One letter from Times Online below.

Andrew Carpenter wrote:
The Argentinians would face another trouncing if they ever tried to enter the Falklans again..their airports would be "Daisy Cut"..their troops would be mown down before they ever set foot there. Their Ships would be destroyed and their Capital City would be bombed this time.

We won't be so concilliatory this time..if Argentina tris it on again, they'll be destroyed.
If I didn't know you better, I'd think you were trying to provoke a spat by posting this in the Newcomers Forum instead of World Politics. Tut! tut! tut!
Dear lord, Argentina couldn't go to war with Bolivia at this point. Brazil or Chile could occupy this country in a weekend. There's no way that Argentina will be trying to take anything by force anytime soon.
I'll be watching this from the States. I'm guessing that it will be over just after Valentine's Day.
Argentina could not defend itself against a good coordinated attack of mosquitos. I have a few friends who are in the Army and they told me the state of disrepair of everything. There is no way we could attack the Malvinas.
Having said that, the other side of the coin is that the UK may be looking for excuses to internally increase the acceptance of military expenditure.
I do believe the Malvinas belong to Argentina, but I accept the reality and I think it will be extremely dificult to get them again.
What I find extremely unfair is the occupation zone around the Malvinas, those 200 miles. Mainly because they notably interfere with our own 200 miles of sea from the continent, to which of course we have a right. In this point I see the need for negotiations.
They love to whip this up, don't they?
I see nothing in the UK press about this. While the Argentine government keep using this as a clarion call to try and gain extra support it leaves little room for a UK government to negociate.
The costs of protecting these remote and barren islands is huge, we are no longer Great Britain, we have lost empire and there are few who would have the stomach for fighting.
There may be some return on the oil that is there, but honestly, can it ever repay the costs we are bearing.