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  • Trouble Brewing in South Atlantic Over Control of Falklands

    Christina Fernandez de Kirchner

    Possession of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands in the South Atlantic is again being disputed. The United Kingdom’s 180-year control over the islands and the will of its English-speaking inhabitants as well as the sacrifice of British blood and treasure that reversed the 1982 Argentine aggression give the UK clear possession of the islands.

    Nonetheless, Argentina rejects what it calls “a colonial enclave.” Last year, it laid claim to vast amount of the South American continental shelf.

    The current bone of contention involves oil. Exploration begun by British firms this month will assess just how large are deposits locked in waters around the Falklands. Optimists claim figures runs in the tens of billions of barrels, triggering a clash of competing interests in London and Buenos Aires.

    Pummeled politically and economically, Christina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government is milking the dispute for political advantage. While Argentina says it intends to stick to peaceful means, it has begun a provocative escalation. The Argentine requirement that “ships that want to travel from ports on the Argentine mainland to the Islas Malvinas, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands must first ask for permission from the Argentine government” constitutes a serious threat to freedom of the seas and risks U.K.-Argentine confrontations.

    The Argentines want to enlist the United Nations and Latin American neighbors to back their claims. Hot heads like Venezuela’s populist authoritarian president Hugo Chavez are busy whipping up nationalism and old-fashion anti-colonialism against the British,

    While promising to show forceful leadership in the Western Hemisphere, the Obama Administration has thus far has ducked the opportunity to speak out on sovereignty and freedom of the seas issues involving a close ally. As it did during the Honduras crisis last year, the Administration seems willing to follow the Latin American consensus and keep silent in an emerging crisis.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Trouble Brewing in South Atlantic Over Control of Falklands

    1. Winn Trivette, Sao P says:

      This is more about Argentine domestic problems and the classic attempt at distraction: http://globalsecuritymonitor.blogspot.com/

    2. Drew Page, IL says:

      Since the prevailing political winds in London seem to be blowing in the face of Tony Blair, due to his support of the U.S. in the Iraq war, I would think that the U.S. would want to keep silent on this issue.

      British liberals want to call Blair a war criminal for aiding the U.S. in Iraq. I can't image those same folks would want any support at all from the U.S. regarding their claims to the Falkland islands, and the oil to be found there.

    3. Millard says:

      Your post date says February 22, 2010, but that must be an error since you cite President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, both of which have been out of power in their respective country for some time now. It's a new day for America, haven't you heard? There's this "reset button," which sounds like something a child might think exists because it's on his video game, but, yes, we're told by supposedly smart people that it exists and all is new.

      As for the Falklands, this is a great chance for the current president — his name is Barack Obama — to show this diplomacy he promised us. I'm aware he threw Winston Churchill's bust back in the UK Ambassador's face and gave the current British PM (that's Mr. Brown) a gift of some Region One DVDs that he couldn't even play back home as the traditional gift.

      I'm also aware he dislikes Britain and believes there's no "special relationship," but there is the matter of some thousands of people in the Falkland's. But of course, Obama did have a sweet embrace of Hugo Chavez and take an America-hating book from the dictator of Caracas. Unfortunately, the Obama — or "U.S." — policy at the moment seems to be to favor the strong over the weak in every corner of the globe.

      The Arabs over the Israelis. The Chinese over the Dahli Lama and Taiwan. The Russians over the Georgians and Ukraine. The Latin American communists over the democrats (small D).

    4. DeadTake says:

      I think this is stupid. Argentina have no right to be what they are doing. They are acting like children I SAY GROW UP YOU BLOODY IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. Pingback: Obama Administration to Britain: Drop Dead | Jeffrey A. Setaro

    6. Pete in NC says:

      I think Argentina needs a new president. And isn't she the one who took the Argentina equavelent of the 401K and nationalized them? It can't be about money can it?

    7. Paul, Swindon, UK says:

      British soldier death numbers in Afghanistan have recently tragically overtaken those from the Falkland conflict. In addition, UK government spending on protecting the Falklands has declined (since the 1982 conflict). As our troop numbers in Afghanistan are 2 to 3 times higher than our European and Commonwealth friends, perhaps it is time to allow others to take on that burden while our boys take a well earned rest, followed by a trip to the South Atlantic. Special Relationships should not be one way – let's look after ourselves, Mrs Clinton has shown where US support is on this one !

    8. Old Salt says:

      Ray,

      Thanks for getting this "out there." If you wish to know more deeply and evaluate the sovereignty issues attendant to maritime issues, google-up Law of the Sea Treaty machinations. The trends are not salubrious and very troubling under the present Administration. Good luck.

      Retired senior military man and diplomat

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