Even though a second Malvinas war is as impossible as a Justin Bieber concert in Argentina, the subject is still in the spotlight as new information regarding British concerns about it emerged recently.
The latest news related to the alleged menace the South-American country represents to the islands’ sovereignty involves a special-ops military drill in said territory. On April 13th, the mildly-sensationalist journal Express published an article stating UK forces tested the Malvinas defenses fearing Argentina was on the brink of invasion. According to the article, “more than 20 troops took part in the mission, planned by senior officers at the permanent joint Headquarters in Northwood, west London”.
The article also claims the exercise “happened four months ago and has also been carried out in recent years”, and it’s a part of a much larger drill called “Falklands Forum”, whose objective is to test the whole islands’ garrison ability to react to an attack.
This most recent information came to light in the middle of a diplomatic spat between both countries. Tensions started to spark when on March 24th British defense minister Michael Fallon announced the decision to reinforce its military position in the islands, stating Argentina’s claim of sovereignty is “the main threat to the islanders”.
The claim itself didn’t really hold. Even if it wanted to, Argentina is absolutely incapable of invading the British enclave in the South Atlantic. With UK elections coming up, it all seemed like a move to spark up nationalism, always a good way to get ahead in the polls. The Argentine government dismissed any chance of it happening, and called the British to solve conflict diplomatically. Nonetheless, it also denounced the Europeans for their “unjustified rising expenditures” in the islands.
Cristina addressed this particular subject last April 2nd on Cadena nacional, commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the Malvinas War beginning. In her speech, she criticized the British government and made it very clear that though the country will keep its claims, and its firm on its intention about recovering the islands, war will never happen: “There are more British people living in Argentina than there are on the islands. And they live a great life without being bothered or attacked. So if (the British government) needs votes, don’t use Argentina as an excuse”.
This didn’t really please people across the pond, Downing Street specifically. The foreign office summoned Ambassador Alicia Castro (who had assured British people didn’t identify themselves with the “colonialist policy David Cameron’s government implements”) to let her know its discomfort with Cristina’s declarations, as well as her own: “The UK has no doubt about the islander’s rights to decide about their own future, nor the Malvinas (Falklands in the original) sovereignty and the surrounding maritime zone. We firmly oppose the President’s last statements, as well as the London Ambassador’s” said a Foreign office spokesperson to Infobae.
But Argentina’s Foreign Ministry also felt like some explanations were in order. On Friday April 3rd, TN published a report claiming the online journal dedicated to investigate Edward Snowden’s leaked files, The Interceptor, revealed that the British government spied on Argentine “leaders and military chiefs” to figure out the country’s plans regarding the island’s disputed sovereignty” and prevent it from recovering them either by diplomatic or military means.
Foreign Vice-Minister Eduardo Zuain summoned British ambassador John Freeman to demand an explanation for “the silence” upon Snowden’s revelation of the “massive espionage” directed at Argentina, and the “militarization and illegal hydrocarbon exploration”.
The Ministry released a statement detailing how these actions violated “the right to privacy and freedom of speech”, according to UN resolutions 68/167 and 69/166″, and also said it will present a criminal complaint against the companies currently exploring for oil in Argentina’s continental shelf, which “violates law 26.915 and UN resolutions about the Malvinas affairs, specially the 31/49 which urges both parties not to introduce any unilateral modifications to the situation while the solution is pending”.
Cristina also referred to the topic in last weekend’s Americas Summit, which was also the spot for the historic encounter between US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro after more than 60 years of broken diplomatic relations. During her speech in the Presidents plenary session, Cristina criticized US’ decision of declaring Venezuela a threat to the nation and compared it to the Malvinas situation “If they wanted to face Venezuela they should have found another way because no one can believe that. As no one can believe the UK can declare mi country a threat. Both cases’ similarities caught my attention”
We agreed with Cristina before about this particular subject and we agree again. Despite the fact that Argentina will keep disputing the islands’ sovereignty through diplomatic means, a military conflict has no chance of happening whatsoever, even if we actually wanted to.