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Falklands tensions a building

Discussion in 'Serious' started by eddie543, 18 Feb 2010.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Yeah, let's see if the US will be more helpful than it was last time. :rolleyes: Give me a break. The UK is the gimp in this 'special' relationship.

    Except that the UK is currently in a major economic crisis and having to cut back on its military funding just as said military is already spread wafer-thin all over the Middle East. It cannot afford yet another conflict.

    Argentina however, is doing just fine. It is one of the G-20 major economies. Its defense budget is about a tenth of that of the UK, but in a conflict it only has to occupy and hold on to a few islands next door, not send a navy halfway across the world to liberate (and then hang on to) said islands while already holding down to major regions of conflict with already scarce resources.

    Argentina is posturing because it fancies its chances. Being the US' lapdog has sucked the UK dry. Now it needs the resources to defend its own patch, expect the US to cough self-consciously while looking the other way. Just like it did last time.
     
  2. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    In total awareness of the fact that this is pretty much what people said last time around, I don't think the Argentines have the balls. In the interim since the last war, the UK hasn't abandoned the Falklands. Back in 1982, the Argentines faced a grand total of 57 marines and 11 sailors armed with small arms. Today, the UK's presence already involves a Type 42 destroyer and auxiliary ship (287 sailors on the destroyer alone), a 500-man garrison plus the 33rd Engineer Regiment, 4 Eurofighters (+ VC10) and 2 Sea Kings. Those planes even sit on a brand new airbase. That's more than 10 times the manpower of the Eighties, and it gets worse for your theoretical invasion force. The Argentine Air Force's most advanced attack aircraft are IAI Fingers (of which they have only 6, and which date from 1971 and whose original user retired the type in 1977). The bulk of the proposed air attack would be the same A4 Skyhawks (dating from 1956) as last time, and the air force doesn't fly a heavy-lift helicopter type.

    The UK's presence then is more than capable of discouraging even quite a determined Argentine attack; even overwhelming force of numbers won't be much good against greatly advanced radar, fighters and missiles, not to mention the fact that the Royal Navy still sends submarines into the area on patrol. Even if they did try, the immense popularity of the last war would convince even the most spineless Tory to send in reinforcements. The Argentines may well eventually dislodge the Crown from 'Las Malvinas,' much like Spain might eventually get Gibraltar - but what they have in common is that it's not going to be by force.
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2010
  3. LeMaltor

    LeMaltor >^_^

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    We are fighting with the USA a war on terror, if the argies just invade the falklands the US won't be interested, no ppl straping bombs to themselves......it'll be our problem...........to solve with no money.......seems we are ****ed :p
     
  4. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    Completely agree with PureSilver. The Argentinians have a far less of a chance of taking the Falklands by force than they did in the last war, despite the fact that our military is stretched very thin. We have upgraded the guarding forces, and have considerably more advanced naval vessels - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astute_class - hello the most advanced submarine in the world.
     
  5. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    Also, its wrong to suggest that the US did nothing to assist us in the Falklands war. They supplied us enormously valuable intelligence via their AWACS planes - a capability which we didn't have. This allowed us to coordinate our forces actions round the islands with a very accurate knowledge of where and what the Argentinians were doing.
     
  6. oasked

    oasked Stuck in the Mud

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  7. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    Those islands have never at any point been Argentine, nor have Argentinians lived there at all. By all reasonable measures the Falklands are British.
     
  8. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    We couldn't do the Falklands thing today.

    We were lucky with the faulklands last time.
    If it had happened in 1984 we would been stuffed.

    Why?

    Cutbacks.
    There was a massive defense spending review underway in 82 and the decision was made to cut spending on the forces. Half the ships used in the falklands wouldn't have been available in 1984.


    Now with various missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places we don't have the capacity.

    For example.
    We used the Vulcan as a long range heavy bomber in 1982, to bomb the airfield to knock out local air support.

    We don't have a heavy bomber.
    The best we have is a tornado, totaly worthless as a long range heavy bomber.

    1 of our 3 carriers was decommissioned a few years ago.


    Also, back in 82 it was a military Junta fighting for power in a unstable economy. Now it's in the G-20.


    I expect we'd get handed our arse.
     
  9. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    Yeah, I'm sure WWII was all about "politician's greed" - nothing to do with Nazi empire building, at all.

    I think I read the newspaper editorial you copied this from... It's nonsense, of course. The theory behind our vulnerability is overstated. We can't afford any long term campaigns against a hidden guerilla enemy, but a straight-forward conventional 'conflict' against Argentina, would be a) a short-term gig and b) a shot in the arm for our forces - an easy battle against an ill-equipped enemy who can't blend into the indigenous population. Sure, we *are* overstretched, but this battle would be a shot-in-the-arm for our forces.

    Ironically, most of the improvements in our naval forces are as a direct consequence of the Falklands conflict. The lack of a credible A2A capability, the vulnerability to sea-skimming-missiles, the fire control measure and procedures... loads of stuff. Whereas little has changed in the Argentinian armed forces in the intervening 30 years.

    Whilst we have to be careful about not being too jingoistic and myopic, equally we need to be circumspect about the reality. We are pushed, but the Argentinians have no capability or appetite for conflict, but it would be a good political jaunt that would secure another term of government for a UK incumbent.

    I expect we'd get handed our arse.[/QUOTE]

    You were kinda right before, and it is correct to say that the Tornado GR4 is not a heavy bomber... however heavy bombers are largely useless in such a conflict. Heavy bombers were cool for fire-bombing Dresden, or even for wasting the Republican Guard retreating along Highway 80. But not entirely useful for a tiny series of islands like the Falklands.

    Two additional points of fact - the Vulcan wasn't a heavy bomber - in fact, it could carry only a third (10,000kg) of the payload of a real heavy bomber (such as the B52). Secondly, and arguably most importantly, the success of the Black Buck missions was overstated. it is thought that it made the Argentinians think twice about basing too many fast jets at Stanley Airport, but only one bomb ever penetrated the runway and it never stopped any traffic to/from the airfield.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    What the US didn't do, however, is let your Vulcans land there on the way to, or on its return from its bombing run. Instead they madea straight flight from the UK, supported by Victor tankers based out of Ascension Island. One was forced to land in Brazil of all places when its refueling probe broke --where it was promptly impounded.

    Sorry, but the US was right on the doorstep and did sweet F-A to help.

    Yeah, I've heard that before. Iraq was going to be all hitting them with 'shock and awe' and be over and done with in six months; Afghanistan was going to be breeze with our superior Western technology against a few backward sandal-wearing Fundies with third-hand AK-47's. We couldn't even be asked to encrypt our military aircraft communications because those guys had barely heard of electricity... now they're tapping into the signal with laptops, portable aerial dishes and $60,-- worth of software.

    Seven to nine years later, and we're still there taking casualties. I think it is time to can the grandiosity and learn not to underestimate the enemy.
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2010
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  11. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    As I tried to point out ("so I'm not poor anymore?") later in the post, it doesn't really matter who's in power. Even in a representative democracy, the people still get ****ed and the few profit. What's the difference between totalitarianism and "democracy" nowadays? We don't get a say, just the illusion that we do.

    Nazi empire building was indeed a cause for war. But that is politicians' "greed": they didn't want Germany to become a massive political European power again. Especially a Germany led by a little man who wouldn't listen to their wishes.
    I'm not saying Nazi-Germany was good or innocent (their politicians' own greed kicked it off, after all); all I'm saying is that the cause for war had nothing to do with the people "oppressed" (yes, those quotes are necessary) under German rule. It was - as it always is - politicians sending their subjects to death (also on the German side, of course) to make sure they keep their power or can gain more.

    To be fair and very frank, if any people would've profited from the politician's selfish strategy, it would probably have been the Germans (if they had succeeded). What did the British gain? A lot of dead kids and men and cities in ruins. For what? The "liberation" of Europe?

    My problem with war is (see my War Theory in my previous post) that it's never the people who decide to start wars that suffer, nor their family or friends. It's always us, the poor, humble, stupid people. And for what? What have any of us or our ancestors gained from someone starting or winning a goddamn war?

    My grandparents gained the small convenience of not having to raise their right arm when they entered a shop. Yeah, totally worth all those millions of dead soldiers and civilians.


    It's the same with this new possible Falklands conflict: what are you going to gain? What are the soldiers who may have to go there going to gain? Who's going to profit from any conflict that may ensue, without putting anything in? It won't be any of you "low" Brits. But you do get to get shot at for it.
     
  12. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

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    My line of thinking may be way off the mark here (I tend not to pay too much attention to current affairs), but should the Argentinians be stupid enough to follow through with their threats, given that the vast majority of the UK armed forces are currently involved in a conflict spearheaded by the US, perhaps they might feel obliged to help out in order to maintain the 'special relationship', considering how much it works in their favour? If they don't, would it not be a prime opportunity for the government to use it as an excuse to withdraw our troops from a resource-hungry conflict with very little public support and leave the Americans to go it alone?
     
  13. cjmUK

    cjmUK Old git.

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    A good point, well made. Occupying forces (regardless of there supposed motives) are there for a good kicking - they can't fade away an hide.

    So the cold war style conflict (that we have been geared up for xx years) never played out.

    However, in the Falklands, the shoe is on the other foot. The famously ill-equipped (even more-so than us!) conscript Argentinian army has nowhere to hide on the bare soil and rock that we call the Falklands. It would be an old school battle, and the odds favour us, despit the relative proximity of their homeland.

    They can't afford it, they can't afford the ensuing implications, they don't have the stomach for it - it is not going to happen.

    [No the US didn't bend over backwards for us, but they did actually provide some less high profile material support - like AWACS coverage and refuelling planes. And fuel, food and ammo... lots of ammo. We couldn't have survived without them. The Argentinians couldn't have posed the problem they did without Exocets, and we have the French (amongst others) to thank for the lack of missiles available to them - had they not withheld an Exocet order for Peru, things could have been much more difficult.]

    Sure, war is bad, etc... Especially if you are the loser. The Falklands was supposed to be the saviour of Galtieri but it was actually the end of him... and a timely boost to Maggie prior to the 1983 election.

    The same mechanics apply today. It would be a big gamble from Argentina, and correspondingly, there is no way a UK PM could respond any other way than forcefully.

    The US and the rest of the world wouldn't come to Britain's aid? According to Nexxo and many other on here, Iraq 2 was all about oil, as was Iraq 1 before it. With a reputed 60m barrels under the islands, do you seriously think we'd have no help?
     
  14. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    Provided the people living on the islands actually want to be part of the UK. I believe the people in this topic who've said they do; but there's a big difference between government talk and reality. If the people on the Falklands want to remain part of the UK, and Argentina wants to take over the land (again), then by all means send soldiers (they did sign up for exactly that, the defense of the 'realm', after all). If it's really just about the possible oil under the seabed, then send the PM himself with a Minimi, a box of ammo and a few snacks. (I'd pay to see that!)

    Let's hope it doesn't have to come to that. There's plenty of young men and women coming back dead from very far away already. One life for oil is too much (especially considering we can develop alternative stuff).

    But, people are stupid, and politicians are people.

    Apologies, I'm in a very anti-everything mood today. But I do believe the war-brings-nothing-for-us point stands.
     
  15. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    You're right. it brings nothing positive for us as a species, nothing at all. War. is about profit and control.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2010
  16. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Iraq/Afghanistan ≠ The Falklands.

    Our biggest problem in those countries was never posed by their armed forces. It's not the Iraqi or Afghan armies that are causing us casualties; it's the local populace, many of whom have good reason to dislike us. If anyone underestimated the scale of trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan, they were and are idiots; the British Army came fresh from the bloody streets of Northern Ireland (with much the same issues) and with decades of Afghan conflict under their belts. In those countries, we face a local, entrenched, well-supported, and determined enemy ideologically opposed to our invasion of their sovereign territory.

    Let's see how those apply to the Falklands, shall we? The proposed invaders are Argentinian; they are not local, not entrenched, and as conscripts highly unlikely to be determined or motivated. There is little chance of foreign fighters suddenly rallying to the call of Argentina. The local population is British, speaks native English, and enjoys the support of our armed forces already. They have no reason to plant roadside bombs to blow us up or to hide near airports to shoot us down. Put simply, they wouldn't fight an insurgency against us. If the Argentines attempted a guerrilla war like the Taliban, we'd destroy them rapidly; the Falklands is composed of open, rugged terrain which is poorly suited to hiding fighters and the soldiers cannot just melt away into the populace. The Falklands are smaller than some English counties, as opposed to Afghanistan which is almost three times the size of England; again, not good for insurgents trying to hide out. Furthermore, this is our territory and has been for centuries; we are not invaders. The only war we have ever fought there we won, extremely convincingly.

    Not to appear unnecessarily concerned, but there's not a chance in a thousand of them invading over a miserably small chance of oil. In any case, WAR!



    ... WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2010
  17. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    Uh, I don't like the current Government very much either. But you should try living in a totalitarian state before knocking the UK too much. Being 'kettled' at a protest isn't nice, sure, but nobody gets taken away in the boot of a van at night by the British Government to have their fingernails torn out. To test this theory, I invite you to try telling the British Government that they are all totalitarians. Now, try telling the North Korean Government that. Or the Iranian. See? The difference between totalitarianism and democracy is not being raped in prison, tortured and beaten to death, and having your very existence denied.

    I think a better way of saying this might be 'The Nazis started the war.' The war was indeed about land and natural resources and greed - Hitler's, specifically - and the fact that the Allies were drawn into conflict with this is probably best described as 'not directly their fault.' When you mean Germany political power, it would be fair to point out that he was becoming a massive European power by subjugating and annexing smaller, weaker countries without their consent - think Czechoslovakia or Poland - and I personally would say that was a pretty good reason to respond. You could point out that the crushing reparations demands of the '20s did contribute to Hitler's rise to power, but the Allies didn't start the war to stop Germany becoming a massive political power, they responded to the invasion of Poland to stop Germany overrunning Europe. That's self-defense.

    Mine gained the small convenience of not having to wear a yellow star, be stripped of their citizenship and rights, get put in a camp, be dehumanised, and then for that little extra something, be gassed and cremated. WWII had a lot to do with oppression; namely, the Allies were rightly concerned that the blitzkrieg might be turned against them so they could enjoy a spell of Teutonian oppression in Vichy France flavours. For sure, they didn't respond to save a bunch of Polish Jews and German dissenters, so the oppressed (homosexuals, Gypsies, Communists, other untermenschen) were not the subject of the war, no. But they got saved anyway. The British gained a third of Germany, most of the old German possessions (Palestine Mandate - yay!), and a place as the world's third power. Those probably weren't worth the millions of lives. But as compared to letting German racial theory run riot over Continental Europe and Russia? Or Japanese medical experimentation expand further than Manchuria? Worth it every time; I venture to suggest that more lives were saved in the fighting of that war than would have been lost if the Allies had not fought back.

    The war wasn't about standing up for what people believed in; it was about Hitler's desires for local supremacy. The Allied response to that was about self-defense and limiting German aggression. That was worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2010
  18. pdf27

    pdf27 New Member

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    Umm... has anybody actually taken a look at the state of the Argentine armed forces right now? What they have right now is essentially the same kit they did in 1982 (literally - the aircraft and ships are mainly the same ones that fought in 1982), but in smaller numbers due to the losses from that war not being replaced. They haven't fought any wars since, with the result that there are more combat veterans in the typical British infantry company than in the entire Argentine armed forces.

    Additionally, our equipment (particularly for the infantry) is light-years ahead. Our logistics ability (both the ability to fly troops to the islands in a hurry and the amphibious lift available to launch an assault) is incomparably better than that of Argentina - to the extent that we could get a battalion sized force there inside 24 hours, while Argentina would be hard pushed to invade with much more than that, and our ability to launch an amphibious invasion is much greater than in 1982.

    Finally, there is a proper garrison there right now, usually a company-plus sized force conducting final training before deployment to Afghanistan, with significant stockpiles of supplies and ammunition plus 30 years of practicing and planning to repel another invasion. Coupled with the air support from jets typically 50 years more modern than anything in the Argentine air force, and invading rapidly looks like an impossible problem.
     
  19. MacWalka

    MacWalka New Member

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    Nexxo, normally you are bang on the button with arguments but on this one I totally agree with cjmUK and PureSilver.

    Yes the Argentinians are a G-20 country now but their armed forces have not improved in the time since the Falklands War. Ours have. No matter what you say about spending cuts on the British Army, it is a lot more advanced than it was in the 80s. Plus, you honestly think that a British Government would keep the troop level they do in Afghanistan if their own sovereign territory was under threat?

    Add in the fact that the Falklands is already a lot more trooped up and protected than it was in the 80s. If we HAD to we can invoke NATO mandates for help. An attack on one is an attack on all. The reason we didn't do this in the 80s was because Thatcher didn't want to. She wanted to show that Britain could defend itself and wasn't a weak country. The Americans gave us invaluable aid last time. They offered a lot more than we got though. AGain Thatcher didn't want to draw in other countries more than she had to. She had something to prove to the world and she did it.

    Again, like last time, Argentina's political power is weak. Their government is weak and looks set to be ousted in their next election. The Falklands/Malvinas argument and sabre rattling is always brought up by the Argentinians in power whenever they see the end of their power. Personally, I can't see a war at the end of this. Argentina is just stirring up some arguments and Britain is talking while holding a big stick.
     
  20. gnutonian

    gnutonian New Member

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    I think the main difference between our views lies there: I don't necessarily agree. It's a difficult choice, even in hindsight (and one I'm glad not to have to decide). Discrimination is bad but the death toll was so high with so little gained (look at homosexuals in the UK or black people in the US after the war) I find it hard to see the worth in the "justice".
    Then again, I am saying that from a position of someone who would not automatically be shipped off to a camp. That's a very comfortable position to 'judge' that period of history from.

    (Apologies for the non-Falklands posts.)
     

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