Sunday, February 21, 2010

Argentina requires permits for ships heading to Falklands

I noted with interest a CNN report that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner signed a decree Tuesday February 16th requiring all ships navigating from Argentina to the disputed Falkland Islands to carry a government permit. The move comes as tensions over the territory simmer because of British oil companies' efforts to drill off the northern coast of the islands. The Falklands, known as Las Malvinas in Argentina, lie in the South Atlantic Ocean off the Argentinean coast and have been under British rule since 1833. But Argentina has always claimed sovereignty over them. The two nations fought a war over the islands in 1982. Tuesday's decree followed an accusation made last week by the Argentine government that a ship docked on the mainland was preparing to transport tubes to the Falklands for oil and gas exploration.

My attention was caught for a number of reasons, firstly the Falklands Islands War in 1982 included units from the British Royal Marines, the special forces group that my father fought with in the 1950s and 1960s. Second I have British ancestry and still hold citizenship there. Third, like most analysts, I cannot see this move by the Argentine government will lead to another battle between the two rival nations although history is replete with this sort of riposte. I certainly hope not.

As Peter Hodge so eloquently puts in his blog "The Strategist" ... "Unlike 1982, the political dynamic in Argentina is completely different, the British are forewarned, and the Falkland Islands are heavily garrisoned. Britain's trump card is its nuclear-powered submarines, and the powerful deterrent effect of the destruction of the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano by HMS Conquerer on 2 May 1982. There are, however, two interesting points to ponder. Firstly, this dispute is not about sovereignty per se, as in 1982. It is about control of energy resources, the rich oil and gas deposits that may lie beneath the seabed around the Falkland Islands. Secondly, in disputes and confrontations over oceanic energy resources, conventional military assets (such as submarines, aircraft carriers, planes), are necessary for projecting power and protecting interests."



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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