Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issue.

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Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issue.

Postby sigsfried » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:52 pm UTC

There sadly seems to be a build up of tension around the Falklands Isles again (the most recent example being David Cameron accusing Argentina of colonialism http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16617666). I am sure we can all agree such a build up of tension is regrettable though I can't fault Cameron for his comment, I am sure there are plenty of people that consider it outrageous.

Quickly a note on naming, I don't want to get sidetracked into arguments over names so I suppose anything like the Falklands, Las Malvinas, The South Atlantic islands is reasonable. I would ideally want something neutral but I can't find a neutral term.

So the recent developments over the islands have seen Argentina threatening a coordinated economic blockade with the other South American nations, they have said they will not participate but have banned all shipping flying the, allegedly illegal, Falklands flag. Britain meanwhile continues to refuse to discuss the issue in the UN, something that has brought about widespread criticism (even from allegedly close allies like the USA).

That said I cannot think of a resolution to the issue so maybe we just have to accept that eventually, when Argentina has the military to do it, the islands will become part of Argentina. Maybe war will be avoided in much the way that China got back Hong Kong.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:21 am UTC

The only resolution can be for all sides to agree that the will of the people must be paramount: If the Islanders wish to remain associated with the UK, then noone should force them to become part of Argentina; And if they wish to become part of Argentina, noone should stand in their way on that either.

What other kind of resolution would be reasonable?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:48 am UTC

So basically the resolution has to be completely supportive of the British position?

Other positions could for example allow the descendants of those displaced to return to the islands, share resources or even a generous settlement to allow those on the islands to move to Britain (if we accept that Argentina's territorial integrity relies on those islands, a position I don't accept).
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:So basically the resolution has to be completely supportive of the British position?

No, it has to be completely supportive of the Islanders position. Self-determination is an extremely important principle in modern international law.

Other positions could for example allow the descendants of those displaced to return to the islands

The UK's position is that they have had sovereignty over the islands since 1690 and that there was no indigenous or settled population at that time.

Yes, Argentina could attempt to offer generous settlement offers to the current citizens in an effort to get them to leave - effectively buy out the country - but I suspect neither Argentina nor the Islanders would go for that.

Wikipedia's article on it seems pretty balanced and in-depth.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

elasto wrote:The UK's position is has previously been that they have had sovereignty over the islands since 1690 and that there was no indigenous or settled population at that time.

The UK's position currently is that the nature of affiliation is entirely up to the island's current population.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:05 pm UTC

No, it has to be completely supportive of the Islanders position. Self-determination is an extremely important principle in modern international law.


That is the British position, but clearly it is not stopping many international groups calling for negotiations.

The UK's position is that they have had sovereignty over the islands since 1690 and that there was no indigenous or settled population at that time.


While this is true it ignores that for much of that time the islands were also claimed by Spain, France and Argentina (or its predecessors). During that time Argentina established a base on the islands which Britain dispelled by force.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
elasto wrote:The UK's position is has previously been that they have had sovereignty over the islands since 1690 and that there was no indigenous or settled population at that time.

The UK's position currently is that the nature of affiliation is entirely up to the island's current population.

As I say, if the Islanders want to join Argentina, Britain would not stand in their way - just as if, incidentally, Scotland wants to leave the UK, England won't stand in their way either. All this mention of respecting a right to self-determination isn't just talk - we accept it whether it suits us or not. Argentina needs to show the same respect for that right as we do.

While this is true it ignores that for much of that time the islands were also claimed by Spain, France and Argentina (or its predecessors).
Sure, but having a de jure claim, a de facto claim and having a super-majority of the population supporting it is pretty strong as claims go.

During that time Argentina established a base on the islands which Britain dispelled by force.
Naturally. That's how ownership works - then as well as now.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:20 pm UTC

So if
Argentina expelled the British islanders, replaced them with their own population then Britain would yield its claim? I doubt it.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby elasto » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:So if Argentina expelled the British islanders, replaced them with their own population then Britain would yield its claim? I doubt it.

As Azrael points out, Britain has already yielded its claim. (And, frankly, it's been the policy of Britain for many decades that the various inhabitants' wishes overrule any 'claim' the British government would seek to have - even to the extent of devolving increasing amounts of power to Wales, Scotland and Ireland in recent decades).

But if you're asking would Britain abandon British citizens displaced from their homeland by force then no - because that would be the world backsliding to the appalling situation of most of human history of 'might makes right'. It'd be no more acceptable for Argentina to expel today's British Islanders than it would be for China to expel the inhabitants of today's America.

Today's world recognises the vital importance of self-determination for the people actually living on a given area of land - eg. perhaps Israel would never have been reformed were it on the table in 2012 (a 2,000 year old claim to a geographic area is pretty tenuous after all) or perhaps it would still go ahead but be done in a far more sensitive manner; and yes it's sad that this principle only really became entrenched in internationally agreed law this century - but there you are.

(Though if it's true that these islands were uninhabited in 1690 then even if self-determination were the order of the day back then the result would have been the same.)
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:12 pm UTC

But Argentina would argue that its people were displaced and since then it has been trying to retake the islands. On two occasions the majority on the islands have been Argentinian and on both occasions Britain has used military force to ensure the majority became British. Now I actually think the UK is in the right here, but it does suggest that on the international stage there can never be a resolution most of the world, has called for Britain to negotiate over the islands. So if it is as simple as everyone here suggests then why is almost the entire world (except most of the EU and some of the Commonwealth) against the British position. Surely it is very arrogant to argue, and hardly backed up by history, that Britain is one of the few countries in the world that is morally right.

And nothing has been mentioned of the requirement to respect Territorial Integrity, which clearly most of South America agrees is being breached by Britain’s presence in the South Atlantic islands (a hopefully neutral term).
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Puppyclaws » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:26 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:But Argentina would argue that its people were displaced and since then it has been trying to retake the islands. On two occasions the majority on the islands have been Argentinian and on both occasions Britain has used military force to ensure the majority became British.


I think this is the problem with self-determination when talking about places that have been colonized or overtaken by other people. There is no "will" of the people of the islands to speak of, because first off there are sure to be people there who feel strongly on both sides about the islands being returned to Argentina/Britain, so it is difficult to say that the will of the simple majority is really self-determination. Beyond that, and more specifically to Sigsfried's point, The British (and others) have a history of transplanting huge populations of people to their colonized spaces, thus muddying and complicating the situation. What happened in Northern Ireland is a perfect example; the population at one time would certainly have regarded itself as fully Irish, but a part of British policy was to push people to move and settle there, and make it easy for them to do so, and now the result is that the native population has been diluted to the point that the majority in Northern Ireland are non-Irish. I do not think you can ignore that kind of history and say that it simply comes down to "self-determination" for a majority of the people there.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby elasto » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:35 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:I think this is the problem with self-determination when talking about places that have been colonized or overtaken by other people. There is no "will" of the people of the islands to speak of, because first off there are sure to be people there who feel strongly on both sides about the islands being returned to Argentina/Britain, so it is difficult to say that the will of the simple majority is really self-determination.

Of course you can. There have been polls done and 80% of the population is in favour of retaining ties with the UK. If 80% of those polled wanted to gain ties with Argentina then the UK would assist that happening just as if 51% of Scots vote to leave the UK in 2014 then England will assist that too. The point of principle isn't 'this is ours, hands off!', it's 'this is the will of the people living there, hands off!' Heck, so many British colonies have declared independence over the last century it amazes me that anyone would doubt Britain's willingness to let colonies go their own way.

Beyond that, and more specifically to Sigsfried's point, The British (and others) have a history of transplanting huge populations of people to their colonized spaces, thus muddying and complicating the situation. What happened in Northern Ireland is a perfect example; the population at one time would certainly have regarded itself as fully Irish, but a part of British policy was to push people to move and settle there, and make it easy for them to do so, and now the result is that the native population has been diluted to the point that the majority in Northern Ireland are non-Irish. I do not think you can ignore that kind of history and say that it simply comes down to "self-determination" for a majority of the people there.

You can't allow the rights of dead people to supplant the rights of living people though. The fact that people hundreds of years ago used to live in an area, got displaced and then died has no bearing on whether the current population there has a right to stay living in their homes. If you don't go by that principle, where on earth (literally) do you stop? I doubt there's a country on earth who hasn't had people forceably displaced (The Falkland Isles might be one of the few exceptions if it was indeed unpopulated when England took control of it - but probably someone from some country lived on it before England did.)

No, the easiest way is to draw a line under it, say whatever society currently has homes and children and schools and hospitals there has a right to keep using them, and just move forwards on a new principle of a right to self-determination for the living.

Sure, if Argentina want to try to buy the land, they can attempt to do so. That's Israel's policy for getting Arabs out of Israeli settlements semi-legitimately. But if people don't want to sell their land or their country, then that should be their right.

If there are any descendants of legitimate Argentinian settlers (ie not ones that were displaced after 1690 which were, de jure, illegitimate settlers, but from before) then, yes, we can talk of a very small amount of reparations I suppose, but that's not my understanding of what the disagreement involves.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Game_boy » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:25 am UTC

With the state of our defence budget and naval resources (no aircraft carriers etc.), I'm not sure we could defend the Falklands again if Argentina decided to re-invade. Not without NATO/America's help, and I'm not sure they would.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:33 am UTC

So the conclusion would be that Britain should not negotiate, and we are left with the simple fact that without any negotiations this will be an issue that continues to get world, and especially regional, condemnation for Britain. With accusations that the area is effectively under military occupation (the last time that happened was November of last year with the claim made by the Argentine diplomatic mission to the UN).

It is somewhat sad to have to believe that this will run on forever, or at least until Britain cannot afford to defend them. That said I don't believe the British position is all that strong. Argentina (and pretty much all the South American nations) believe that the islands are required for the security and territorial integrity of Argentina. Nothing has been done to address this point. That is the Argentine case rests primarily, but not entirely on UN Resolution 2353 in 1968 which stated "any colonial situation which partially or
completely destroys the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the
purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” The Malvinas issue is recognised by the UN as one of colonisation.


With the state of our defence budget and naval resources (no aircraft carriers etc.), I'm not sure we could defend the Falklands again if Argentina decided to re-invade. Not without NATO/America's help, and I'm not sure they would.


The military force on the islands is now huge, Argentina is simply not able to mount a credible invasion of the Falkland Isles. Our military might be weaker than it was in the last war but the Argentine forces are simply not a credible threat. Now if they have cooperation with China (who have said they support Argentina) as well as Brazil and other regional powers, then the islands would fall.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby lutzj » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:14 am UTC

sigsfried wrote:That said I don't believe the British position is all that strong. Argentina (and pretty much all the South American nations) believe that the islands are required for the security and territorial integrity of Argentina. Nothing has been done to address this point. That is the Argentine case rests primarily, but not entirely on UN Resolution 2353 in 1968 which stated "any colonial situation which partially or
completely destroys the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the


I don't really get the territorial integrity argument. The islands are on the same continental shelf as Argentina, sure, but they're also 460km away from the mainland. The Bering Strait is about 85km wide; does American control of Alaska violate Russian sovereignty?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:48 am UTC

sigsfried wrote:(the most recent example being David Cameron accusing Argentina of colonialism http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16617666)..



The man's.... looked at a map recently, yes? Or at least a textbook on British history?

Anyways, jokes about the irony of the British accusing people of colonialism aside, I think that it honestly should be left up to the people living there.

From the standpoint of me looking at a map, they should clearly belong to Argentina. But people override territory. If the people want British Rule, so be it.

If people were displaced, so be it (though I'm not quite so sure if I support a historical claim so much as I would a claim by a living displaced person).
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Angua » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:31 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
sigsfried wrote:(the most recent example being David Cameron accusing Argentina of colonialism http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16617666)..



The man's.... looked at a map recently, yes? Or at least a textbook on British history?

Anyways, jokes about the irony of the British accusing people of colonialism aside, I think that it honestly should be left up to the people living there.

From the standpoint of me looking at a map, they should clearly belong to Argentina. But people override territory. If the people want British Rule, so be it.

If people were displaced, so be it (though I'm not quite so sure if I support a historical claim so much as I would a claim by a living displaced person).
Cameron comparing giving the Falklands to Argentina to colonialism was somewhat correct - the main impact of colonialism was the main countries basically carving up the world, and occassionally handing over territories in treaties with no respect for the people who were inhabiting the country - from this perspective, Argentina wanting to have the Falklands handed over to them is like colonialism - something the UK should have learnt its lesson on by now.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:23 pm UTC

A resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issue will certainly not occur while the Argentine government is worried about public opinion of its subsidy cuts and the country's rising inflation. It's the perfect distraction and rouser of strong public feelings.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Game_boy » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:A resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issue will certainly not occur while the Argentine government is worried about public opinion of its subsidy cuts and the country's rising inflation. It's the perfect distraction and rouser of strong public feelings.


Similarly, the UK government has used statements of their position to look strong about an issue in times where they appear to be U-turning on public policy.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Palomnik » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:18 pm UTC

Cameron has the support of all three major political parties on the Falklands issue, and much as I despise him for his other policies, he has mine too. It was exactly the same in 1982; though the left grumbled about how it was a propaganda opportunity for Margaret Thatcher, and though the sinking of the Belgrano was the subject of great controversy, the military deployment itself had the support of Michael Foot and the majority of the Labour party. No sane leader could have taken any other position.

Personally, I find appeals to history on Argentina's part to be incredibly weak and facile. Argentina did not even exist as a country when the Falklands were settled by Britain, but even if we do accept that the British sovereignty over the Falklands islands is the result of colonialism in the past (which of course it is, but this neglects to mention that the Spanish and French claims to the islands were also based on Virgin Lands colonialist principles), this would not make the Falklands any different from any other country or territory which was founded upon the displacement of others - including Argentina. It is unrealistic and a disservice to those who are now alive to place the interests of dead people over current generations who had nothing to do with these issues in the first place.

In this matter, the saying "the past is a different country" is very appropriate. The current borders in most regions of the world are vastly different to what they were centuries ago. They were fought over and shaped at a time where colonialism, displacement, and "might makes right" were simply the international reality. No one country is to blame for this, and every major power is guilty of it. However, the modern world now operates under a different logic. Sovereignty is no longer based on the projection of military might, but on the rights of people to decide their own fate. The people now living on the Falkland Islands are long-established and settled there. It is their right to determine whether they wish to be British or Argentine, and old style colonialism on Argentina's part - bullying, threatening, and appealing to long past history - has no place in the modern world.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby laundryman » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:09 pm UTC

The Argentine claim on the Falkland Islands is based on a skewed and incorrect version of history which they teach to their young from a very early age. They even altered their maps to show the Falklands as their own. It is designed to support spurious claims over the Falklands, but also remember this. It's not just the Falklands they are after, they want South Georgia (Which they have never been in possession of either) and the South Sandwich Islands (likewise). Remember that as a prelude to the Falklands invasion of 1982, they first captured South Georgia and had to be evicted by UKSF.

Remember the Belgrano? (well I prefer to remember with pride HMS Sheffield and the other UK ships that were sunk, but...) Recent documents produced after the 30 year rule show that in fact the Belgrano WAS a threat to UK ships (I don't like posting links to the Daily Wail, but in this case http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080490/Belgrano-Britain-WAS-right-sink-ship-attacked-Task-Force.html). And in fact the Argentines at the time said that the Belgrano was a legitimate military target, it was only the leftist UK politicians that were doing the hand wringing. I remember Maggie at the time said that when the truth was finally known she would be vindicated, she clearly knew that the truth was out there, but couldn't say anything because it was marked secret. The ironic thing is that this one event probably saved the lives of thousands of Argentine sailors, as the sinking forced their entire fleet back to home port.

The islands themselves offer next to nothing to the Argentines in terms of resources, so you have to ask yourselves, why bother (National pride? maybe. But silly if it is.) I think a more educated answer to all this is: access to the Antarctic and everything that comes with it. Added recently of course is the proof of oil, although that is a much more recent event. So really, its not about the Falklands themselves, its about resources (isn't it always). And this time thankfully, its not the Brits or Americans who are being accused of it! (There was also some talk of the islands having a natural Uranium source - god forbid the Argies getting the bomb eh?)

On the issue of colonialism, it's very easy for those countries in South America and elsewhere who know absolutely nothing of Britain and the values we hold in a modern age (other from what they see in our gutter media), to stand and smirk and criticise us. Yes, we were once colonialists, much like most developed nations of the 17th and 18th Centuries, including the country that put Argentina where it is now, Spain. I will not apologise for my history (we did do some good too you know). However NOW is what is important. Britain is a modern Parliamentary Democracy which has laid aside its colonial past. Indeed the United Nations holds a de-colonisation assembly, which the UK helped to create as founding members of the UN. It is for this very reason that islands and nations such as the Falklands were given the status of self governing overseas territories (It happened in Puerto Rico in the 50's, when they voted to remain US citizens). If the UK was still a colonial power, why would we be creating organisations to stop colonisation?

Colonialism can be defined by one country taking land for its own in order to exploit it, expelling or subjugating the native population (but not always, the Argentines just wiped out their native population, but I digress). In the case of the Falkland Islands, there WERE NO natives there. This can be proven through historical text (not the spurious guff you hear from the Argentines). They think that if you tell a lie enough times, people will believe it. So in the current 'argument' who are the colonialists, is it the country that is supporting the United Nations Convention which gives people the right to self determination (or as i see it 'anti colonialism') or those who want to take over an island and remove those people already living there? David Cameron is 100% right and is being vilified for it. Ironic. If anyone should be laughed at it is the Argentine government for their blatant hypocrisy.

Just remember one of the biggest 'colonial' events of recent times was World War 2, when Hitler was trying to take over the world. Who stood up to him? and almost as important, where was Argentina? Oh yes, sitting on the fence, and sheltering Nazi's after it was all over.

So i urge you to read a very good text on the real history by Pepper and Pascoe (http://www.falklandshistory.org/), which is fully referenced to historical documents from around the world. Unlike the Argentine argument, which nearly always seems to descend into name calling and sabre rattling.

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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:16 am UTC

Does it count as ninja'd if you read an entire thread and the two points you want to make are made in the last two posts a day before you get there?

Palomnik wrote:Argentina did not even exist as a country when the Falklands were settled by Britain, but even if we do accept that the British sovereignty over the Falklands islands is the result of colonialism in the past (which of course it is, but this neglects to mention that the Spanish and French claims to the islands were also based on Virgin Lands colonialist principles), this would not make the Falklands any different from any other country or territory which was founded upon the displacement of others - including Argentina.


Exactly.

laundryman wrote:Added recently of course is the proof of oil, although that is a much more recent event. So really, its not about the Falklands themselves, its about resources (isn't it always).


I reckon the recent oil claims must have influenced Argentinian thinking at least a little bit, even if a couple of the recent expeditions have been unsuccessful.

As to why other countries are supporting Argentina, the only overt action I am aware of is South American countries agreeing to not let ships flying the Falklands' flag use their harbours. In practical terms, this is meaningless. Those ships are perfectly allowed to pull down the Falklands' flag, string up an alternate one, and then mosey on into port. By signing up to the measure, other South American countries lose nothing and gain a little bit of favour from Argentina. If, and this is a big if, they actually sign up to something meaningful then we can start worrying.

As to the "large military forces" on the island, the actual hardware in the area consists of a whole 4 Eurofighters and a navy frigate or two. There's very probably a couple of submarines in the area as well, but that's hardly the largest build up of arms in the world.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Hemmers » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

elasto wrote:You can't allow the rights of dead people to supplant the rights of living people though. The fact that people hundreds of years ago used to live in an area, got displaced and then died has no bearing on whether the current population there has a right to stay living in their homes. If you don't go by that principle, where on earth (literally) do you stop?

Well, we did with Israel. The Jews were forcibly displaced by the Romans and the UN moved them back in 2000 years later.
I would see the big difference though in that there was a large and vocal Zionist movement with an increasing number of Jews re-settling into Palestine and campaigning to farm off a bit for their own.
As far as I know, none of the great-great grand children from the displaced Argentine Vernet settlers are angling to move back - it's all political posturing by Argentine Politicians. There are no displaced settlers calling to go back.

Also, even if there were descendants calling to go back, Israel was a complete functioning nation that was broken up and it's society spread round the Roman Empire. When Britain took the Falklands, it displaced a handful of 1st generation settlers who'd only been there a few years anyway.


Deep_Thought wrote:As to the "large military forces" on the island, the actual hardware in the area consists of a whole 4 Eurofighters and a navy frigate or two. There's very probably a couple of submarines in the area as well, but that's hardly the largest build up of arms in the world.

Yeah, but have you seen the state of the Argentine Air Force or Navy? They haven't seen much investment since '82 - 0.9% of GDP in 2010, second lowest in South America. Theoretically they have 75 Ground Attack and CAS aircraft, and 22 fighter-interceptors. How many are actually in flying order is another matter, and they're all relatively old - not too much of a challenge for the munitions available on the Eurofighter and Rapier platforms.

In 1982 there were 50 Royal Marines with small arms, who didn't know for sure they were getting invaded until the ships appeared on the horizon.

With 1500personnel, 4 Eurofighters, the helicopter flights, an RA Rapier detachment, plus the naval assets and satellite surveillance, it shouldn't be overly hard to identify an incoming invasion force and maintain air superiority and control of the Eastern coast until the cavalry arrive (additional fighters could be deployed within 48 hours, which is far faster than any ships could make it and effect any meaningful landing, and we'd almost certainly have more warning to step up our air and naval presence if relations turned sour and tensions rose).
As long as we retain use of the airfield, we don't need carriers or the associated task force. In 1982 they had months to dig in whilst our task force prepped and steamed down. With an airfield we could deploy hundreds of troops and several aircraft in a few days. Totally different tactical scenario.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:31 pm UTC

I agree that the tactical situation is totally different, and that what is present there now is actually a pretty effective deterrent (Especially the submarines!). I mainly wrote that bit as a response to sigsfried's claims that the forces in the area were "huge" and mentioning the Argentinian's claims that the islands were under occupation. Considering the civilian population is only around 3,000, I suppose that even a force of 1,500 which in absolute terms is small is in relative terms pretty big.

I wasn't aware that the Argentinian forces were in such bad shape. Just out of interest, do you know how we would deploy extra air forces to the Falkland's? Can a Eurofighter get there just by flying over the Atlantic with a tanker aircraft, or would they need to stop off at a friendly base along the way?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:19 pm UTC

So huge is almost certainly the wrong word. That said their is little chance of Argentina being able to land, the forces there are very powerful. Certainly more than enough to keep the islands as a landing platform for reinforcements within 48 hours of an attack being noticed.

After the junta Argentina hasn't trusted its military with the army barely being allowed out of the barracks. They are in no fit state to be invading anyone.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby ElWanderer » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

sigsfried wrote:Maybe war will be avoided in much the way that China got back Hong Kong.


The situations are not very comparable. Hong Kong was only ever leased from China, so there was always going to have to be a discussion about either renewing the lease or returning the land. Added to that, much of the population was ethnically and culturally Chinese. Maybe war will be avoided by Argentina not starting a war... by choosing only to follow peaceful means. That would mean waiting a long time until cultural assimilation has the chance to change the will of the population of the islands, and isn't much of a vote-winner, unfortunately. As I understand it, that's the line Spain takes on Gibraltar.

Deep_Thought wrote:Just out of interest, do you know how we would deploy extra air forces to the Falkland's? Can a Eurofighter get there just by flying over the Atlantic with a tanker aircraft, or would they need to stop off at a friendly base along the way?


If you haven't heard of it already, check out Operation Black Buck for an extreme idea of the logistics involved. Bear in mind our tanker fleet is a lot better than it was in 1982, I think.

Wikipedia says the "ferry range" of a Eurofighter is about 3800km and that Ascension Island->Falklands is 7500km, which would imply mid-air refueling at least twice on an Ascension Island->Falklands flight. I'm not sure what the UK->Ascension Island distance is, but it looks roughly similar, implying a non-stop flight all the way to the Falklands would need to refuel 4-5 times. Being a single-seat fighter, I think you'd always plan to land at Ascension Island so the pilot can have a rest (or be replaced). Breaking the journey in two also puts less stress on the tanker fleet.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:53 pm UTC

ElWanderer wrote:If you haven't heard of it already, check out Operation Black Buck for an extreme idea of the logistics involved. Bear in mind our tanker fleet is a lot better than it was in 1982, I think.

Although I didn't know the name, I was aware of the Vulcan missions. I was after the technical specifics of whether the Eurofighter was similarly capable, which you have kindly provided :)
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

That would mean waiting a long time until cultural assimilation has the chance to change the will of the population of the islands, and isn't much of a vote-winner, unfortunately. As I understand it, that's the line Spain takes on Gibraltar.


How, in the case of the Falklands is cultural assimilation going to do anything? The people of the islands are almost entirely cut off from the people of Argentina, the UK has made even getting a tourist visa for the people of Argentina almost impossible.

Also look around the world. Britain doesn't exactly always respect the will of the people:

August 2009, Britain suspended the constitution of the Turks and Caicos islands, and imposed direct rule from London.
The majority of the Pitcairn islanders are believed (it is a while since anyone even asked them what they wanted) to want independence, but that hasn't been offered.
Bermuda has seen attempts to gain independence set back by London.

Now I am not saying these are unreasonable or wrong, but to stick absolutely rigidly to the principal of self determination in basically two cases (Falklands and Gibraltar) is always going to look suspicious to those who already distrust British motives.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Yakk » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:29 pm UTC

ElWanderer wrote:The situations are not very comparable. Hong Kong was only ever leased from China, so there was always going to have to be a discussion about either renewing the lease or returning the land.
HK proper was purchased from China. The "New Territories" (which make up much of what is called HK) where leased for 99 years. The second (and probably the first) was considered an "unequal treaty" by the current Chinese government (a coerced treaty), and hence of limited validity.

The British negotiated a handoff of the entire territory back to Chinese control, using the position that they would "give up" the infinite ownership of "HK proper" in exchange for protection of the rights of the HK citizens.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Deep_Thought » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:21 am UTC

sigsfried wrote:August 2009, Britain suspended the constitution of the Turks and Caicos islands, and imposed direct rule from London. ...
Now I am not saying these are unreasonable or wrong, but to stick absolutely rigidly to the principal of self determination in basically two cases (Falklands and Gibraltar) is always going to look suspicious to those who already distrust British motives.

Well, I'm glad you've said that this was not unreasonable or wrong, because direct rule was imposed due to rampant corruption on the part of the local government. The UK Government is working towards electing a new government, but I admit the date of elections has slipped back a bit. That wasn't a decision that was taken lightly.

As for Pitcairn, the population is a whole 48 people, and they have a directly elected mayor. I don't see how they could function in a modern fashion without support from somewhere.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:38 am UTC

My point only was that we do not simply follow the principle of self determination. Yet in discussions with Argentina over the Falklands we act like that is the only principle we use in determining how to deal with British Oversees Territories.

Also though, even your source, shows that the Turks and Caicos Islands will still not have full control over their budget after a return to self rule.


As for Pitcairn, the population is a whole 48 people, and they have a directly elected mayor. I don't see how they could function in a modern fashion without support from somewhere.


Neither do I but if we believed in self-determination purely then that shouldn't matter.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby AndyG314 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:58 pm UTC

Hemmers wrote:
elasto wrote:You can't allow the rights of dead people to supplant the rights of living people though. The fact that people hundreds of years ago used to live in an area, got displaced and then died has no bearing on whether the current population there has a right to stay living in their homes. If you don't go by that principle, where on earth (literally) do you stop?

Well, we did with Israel. The Jews were forcibly displaced by the Romans and the UN moved them back in 2000 years later.

Regardless of how they feel about Israel, I doubt you will find many people who will hold it up as a model for future endeavours.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby sigsfried » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:21 pm UTC

Just worth noting that Argentina seems to be getting massive regional support, including the USA. If the British position is as strong as everyone here suggests, why is the Foreign Office failing to get even our allies to agree. Also notably looks like there will be a fairly significant UN vote, though Britain can of course veto any resolution. If we are alone in this matter it will be very difficult.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:30 am UTC

Britain is a much more important ally for the US or the (rest of the) EU than Argentina is. Plus Britain is clearly in the right here. I can't imagine why the US and EU wouldn't support the UK on this issue.

Besides, if Argentina attacked they would be required to help by NATO rules.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby wam » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Britain is a much more important ally for the US or the (rest of the) EU than Argentina is. Plus Britain is clearly in the right here. I can't imagine why the US and EU wouldn't support the UK on this issue.

Besides, if Argentina attacked they would be required to help by NATO rules.



Well the US recently has been making noises about supporting talks.

Also i believe NATO does not apply outside of Europe and north america. Hence why the rest of it was not dragged into Vietnam. (although at the moment I can't find a source for this).
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:14 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Besides, if Argentina attacked they would be required to help by NATO rules.

Not so much.

The UN and NATO aren't so much the same thing.

Also, recall that Argentina already attacked once, and didn't have to help stop themselves.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Game_boy » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:25 pm UTC

Only the US's support would be necessary. If they didn't do it I think we could give up on the idea of America and Britain having a special relationship.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Diadem wrote:Besides, if Argentina attacked they would be required to help by NATO rules.

Not so much.

I'm confused. Are you saying that the US is not a member of NATO? Or that most EU member states aren't members of NATO. Or maybe that the UK is not a member of NATO? Because, well, all of those claims would be false. The UK, the US and most of the EU are all members of NATO. I think all of the EU is, though I'm not 100% sure, and it doesn't matter.
The UN and NATO aren't so much the same thing.

No one mentioned the UN?
Also, recall that Argentina already attacked once, and didn't have to help stop themselves.

The US did help the UK. I'n not sure if article 5 was invoked, but help was certainly given.



wam wrote:Also i believe NATO does not apply outside of Europe and north america. Hence why the rest of it was not dragged into Vietnam. (although at the moment I can't find a source for this).

Well Vietnam was never part of NATO. The NATO treaty requires all members to help if one of them is attacked, but I don't think it requires the others to help in any war one of its members may fight. The US was never attacked in the Vietnam war, it came to the aid of south-Vietnam.

Though maybe you're right that it only applies in Europe and North America. Some sources seem to suggest that. But would that mean the Russians are free to nuke Hawaii (as far as the other NATO members are concerned)? That seems strange. Plus Turkey is a NATO member and isn't in America or Europe (except a very tiny part). Surely Turkey enjoys article 5 protection?
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Diadem » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

Not, by the way, that the NATO treaty is always worth the ink it's written on. NATO did nothing at all when Turkey invaded Cyprus. Though I'm not actually sure if Cyprus is part of Europe. Wikipedia calls it "A Eurasian island in the eastern Mediterranean" which doesn't help.
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Re: Can there be a resolution to the Falklands/Malvinas issu

Postby Azrael » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I'm confused.

Funny thing about that -- so was I.

I parsed the last sentence entirely incorrectly, that the pronoun 'they' was referring to Argentina.
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