Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Falklands

Updated 3.10.2015



                                                                         File:Flag of Argentina (bordered).png
Editor's Note 3/10/2015: Since first publishing this post Argentina has forged a formal alliance with Russia and provides shore side naval support for Russian warships operating in the Americas. Russia has publicly announced that it "backs" Argentina in the Falklands dispute. America under Obama has insulted Great Britain and has been utterly silent on the Falklands. Great Britain has launched a new aircraft carrier the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and is starting to build a second. Russia now has solid bases in Argentina and Cuba in the Americas, the Obama administration has made no counter moves. Argentina has become so weak economically that it can't pay its bills and actually had two naval vessels seized by creditors on an African deployment. An international tribunal ultimately rules that the warships enjoyed sovereign immunity against seizure by creditors and the ships were returned. But it is clear at this writing that only abject Argentine weakness prevents another invasion as Russia is unlikely to simply do it for Argentina. With the U.S. in disarray, its enemies no longer respecting her, and allies doubting her the only other hope for peace is rapidly improving British naval strength. That does seem to be happening but Great Britain is being beset by an internal Islamic invasion with potential profound societal changes. The most noticeable change we would make in this post in 2015 is in the past tense tone. The indicators seem to favor a future replay of the 1984 war.
 Before we look at the latest and most threatening maritime territorial dispute in the Pacific we thought it appropriate to revisit a previously expressed opinion on another dispute in the South Atlantic. This earlier controversy exhibited many of the same points of international law that we base our opinions of today's dispute on. Look for the concepts of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and "effective settlement", these concepts are the precedent behind today's problems in the Pacific, namely China refuses to adhere to them or acknowledge these globally accepted precedents of traditional international law and codified convention. After careful review we find our opinion unchanged. In case you weren't reading us about seven months ago here is our opinion.

 Argentina just doesn't get it. Both traditional and codified international law recognizes only one indisputable claim to sovereignty, effective settlement. Only the British have ever effectively settled the Falklands. There are no Argentine citizens on the islands so no one is ever likely to vote for a transfer of sovereignty. Illegally, in the 1980s Argentina attempted to perfect their claim through an illegal resort to armed conflict and were roundly defeated by the British. So no matter who may have been the first western sailor to spot or land on the Falklands, it was the Brits who stayed, defended against all challengers, built towns, and farms, and ports , and established the rule of law. The issue is decided both by effective settlement and force of arms. Yet Argentina is at it again.

 Argentina has publicly stated that it considers oil and gas exploration of the Falkland Islands illegal and threatens international drilling contractors with legal action if they do not obtain permits for exploration in Argentine waters when exploring anywhere in the Falklands. The Energy Secretariat of Argentina has said that Desire Petroleum , Rockhopper Exploration, Argos Resources, Borders and Southern Petroleum, and Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd. do not have valid permits to explore in Argentine waters. Argentina threatens legal action if exploration by these companies continues 

 In a disputed sea area like the waters surrounding the Falklands it is difficult to say with certainty where the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Falklands stops and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Argentina begins. But two things are certain; each is entitled to a clearly defined exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the Argentine claim can never extend to the passages between the islands. But the claim of Argentina in this matter is nothing more than another sour grapes attempt at a land grab without use of force of arms, but rather with the use of lawyers to make business dealing that should be straight forward; complex and annoying. 

 The world, the Falklands, and Argentina all need the oil. Marine drilling contractors need recognized permit processes and royalty arrangements to bring out the oil. Argentina does have legitimate claims to an EEZ that abuts the EEZ of the Falklands, but they are neighbors , not a break away territory of Argentina. Everybody has neighbors, claims of real estate ownership based on proximity can't be valid in the face of long standing effective settlement and defense by force of arms. Argentina would be better served negotiating proper EEZ boundary lines. It's over Argentina, stop acting like a bunch of spoiled Nazis the people of the Falklands are British by choice, language, affinity, and family ties. The people of the Falklands have a right to self determination and they have not chosen Argentina, and after you invaded their homes with guns , they are never likely to choose you. So settle the EEZ business realistically and let's get on with the oil exploration. 

 If you resort to the gun again by going after oil exploration vessels in the vicinity of the Falklands we foresee you being pushed back again by naval force. If the EEZs question has to be resolved by force of arms, the world will recognize a British right to carve a decent security zone out of what should be your otherwise rightful EEZ. 

 Grow up Argentina! Maybe if you could learn to be a good neighbor and a stable democracy in a hundred years or so your proximity might finally work for you. First, the Falklanders have to not fear you. A period where you allowed them to use your proximity to mutual economic advantage, a period of free travel between the Falklands and the mainland, could lead to some intermarriage.  Great Britain has never said that it would hold the Falklanders to the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew by force against their wills. Britain has only come to the defense of a people who feel they are British, whose homes you invaded. Your Nazi like behavior has set back any possibility of unification of the Falklands with the mainland by at least one hundred years. Argentina, you will never be family with the Falklands if you can not be peaceful and cooperative neighbors. And you will never force those Brits off their islands.

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