UK vows to ‘guarantee security’ of Falklands, Gibraltar

UK vows to ‘guarantee security’ of Falklands, Gibraltar

Great Britain’s Conservatives are having one of their regular confabs over on the other side of the pond, and it’s worth perusing the remarks of Defence Secretary Liam Fox. Although from our American perspective, the British military situation looks as thin as it’s ever been, Fox urged his party colleagues that if they stick it out and see it through, the U.K. will get to the other side of today’s bathtub with forces that were worth the struggle.

Here was one key excerpt from the full text of Fox’s speech:

[E]ven after the MoD’s contribution to deficit reduction we still have the fourth largest defence budget in the world and we will continue to be one of only five countries (out of 28) in NATO meeting our 2% GDP obligation. By the end of the decade the Royal Navy will not only have its world beating Type-45 destroyers and seven cutting edge Astute Class submarines but a step change in carrier capability that will be in service for 50 years.


The RAF will have the Joint Strike Fighter and battle tested Typhoons and our aging Hercules and Tri-Star fleets will be replaced by the state of the art A400M and Voyager transport and tanker aircraft. We are spending over £1 billion for new Chinook helicopters. Unlike the previous government, we are actually funding and delivering on the promise of more helicopters for our troops.

And this will support a remodeled and properly equipped army. Few parts of our Armed Forces were more neglected by Labour than our Reserves. That is why we will commit more than £1.8 billion over ten years to revolutionise our Reserve Forces— with the aim of increasing the size of the TA by 50%. This party will never allow our Reserves to reach such a sorry state ever again.

And that’s not all. Resources for our world renowned Special Forces are increasing, we are investing over £600m in cyber security, we are setting up a new four-star Joint Forces Command, and we are establishing the first ever UAV squadron in the RAF. Finally, we will maintain and renew our continuous at sea, submarine launched, nuclear deterrent based on the Trident missile. We cannot and will not take a chance on the security of future generations.

Interesting stuff — despite the economic problems plaguing everyone these days in the Western world, Fox argues that there’s a light at the end of the British tunnel, and that (so long as voters keep supporting the Conservatives) the U.K. will ultimately be stronger.

And here’s something else he said: It’s probably just party boilerplate, the way our politicians have to check boxes about “working families” and “creating jobs,” but it’s interesting in the context of what Fox just talked about:

And with the focus on Afghanistan and Libya let’s not forget the Falklands. Next year is the 30th anniversary of the victory for self-determination in the Falklands: A victory made possible by the resolve another Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. And we will continue to guarantee the security of the Falklands. However, this is not the 1980’s. We are now working towards healthier relations with the Argentinians. But one thing is unchanged; for as long as the people of the Falklands choose to, they are, and will always be, British.

And let’s also be clear about Gibraltar. Gibraltar has had a strategic importance to the UK for 300 years. It remains an important naval base and there can be no question over its sovereignty.

Rah rah rah, Britannia Rules the Waves, etc — and yet Fox does not seem to address the apparent incongruity in these two parts. He is implicitly acknowledging the reality that today’s British forces are not in an optimal posture — the U.K., for example, has just one carrier in a semi-ready state, with no fast jets for it to fly — and yet is laying down old-fashioned, hard-power commitments for key patches of British real estate.

Fortunately for everyone, war doesn’t seem likely in either case. But if, as many people believe, the hard-power decline of U.K. and Europe could presage what might happen to the U.S., it’s a telling example of a policymaker writing a check that his armed services may not be able to cash.

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What always seems to be forgotten in ‘the falkland question’ that people seem to be obsessing about of late is that whilst the UK SDSR may have hamstrung some UK capabilities that Argentine military capabilities are in a far far sorrier state.

So yes, whilst the UK would likely be unable to retake the falklands in contested airspace and waters at present should the Argentinians have taken the Falklands, the Argentines are equally incapable of contesting those waters and airspace or even of taking the islands in the first place.

I also find it highly unlikely that any Argentinian leader would ever utilise military action — especially when taken into account the very slim liklihood of success and the fact failure would certainly see them out of power. Meanwhile it would be political suicide for a UK government not to contest military action at present, which renders an Argentinian effort all the less likely.

All there is is bluster.

I’d say the Astutes are more than capable of guaranteeing the security of both those places. I mean, seriously, when was the last time Gibraltar was at serious risk-WW2?

All there is is bluster.

So true, yet in the case of the Falklands, an excellent state of affair for everyone concerned.

Well, apparently we’re still having to remind the Spanish where their control ends — http://​www​.expatica​.com/​e​s​/​n​e​w​s​/​s​p​a​n​i​s​h​-​n​e​w​s​/​b​rit

Bluster it may be, but certainly the history of the UK is of bluster turning into resolve and the object of that resolve somehow coming to fruition. If you doubt, consider Churchill thumbing his nose at Hitler (even when the “on paper” assessment was for a Nazi “walk over”.), or perhaps the British response to Napoleon.

if the Brits had to go “toe to toe” with the Argentines again, or the Spaniards again, or the Malay rebels again, or.…Im not sure I would count them out until the last shot was fired. :-) Pride goes a LONG way!

The Falklands were kept by Britain for its coaling capabilities supporting warships on overseas deployments. They don’t need them now, and should repatriate the Falklands to Argentina just like they did Indian, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, etc. Otherwise, this is a hypocritical foreign policy that smacks of residual imperialism. And BTW, the Argentine Air Force hit every ship in the British squadron during the Falklands conflict. The Brits lucked out when the fuses didn’t go off, otherwise, there would be a British Navy!

Whichs brings me back to the broom atop navy ships fresh from victory. It was the Dutch admiral, DeRuyter, who once saling up the Thames and burning the British fleet at anchor, sailed back down the Thames, declared “I have swept the British from the seas!” The Argentines almost did it.

Meant to say, “otherwise, there would be NO British Navy!

Yes, because damn to the Islanders right to self-determination.

We send men & women to die trying to protect those who hate us for being in their country, but if we won’t defend those who’s wish to remain British then the is something very wrong.

So it looks like our allies should spend more than 2% of GDP on their national defense so they don’y always look to us to fill the gaps in their militaries. We are spending about 4% of GDP now and I wouldn’t agree to lessening that amount. If we could get aour allies to do 3% to 3.5% that would help a lot. How about Japan? Should we nod our approval to them to help us more in the Pacific with a rising China military by allowing them to amend their constitution so they could spen more than 1% of GDP on their defense forces? Perhaos say to 2% or 2.5% of GDP?

These islanders have repeatedly chosen to be ruled by Britain; they have been there for generations. They have a right to self determination; and if Britain continues to back these people; I think the argument is over.

The fact that the Falklands are geographically close to Argentina and far from England makes no difference. The citizens of the Falklands are nearly 100% Anglo and wish nothing to do with Argentina and that should be the only part of the equation that matters.

You might want to re-read your history on the Falklands-Malvinas conflict, While a large number of the UK ships were hit, it was by no means all. Just for instance, the two carriers were never even attacked, nor were the troop transports. Meanwhile, virtually the entire Argentine Air Force and Naval Air Force were shot down. And the Argentine fuzes didn’t work because the bombs were knowingly dropped outside the envelope because of the air defense.

The defense of the Falklands is no different than the The US Still Having places like Guam, American Samoa, Wake, Midway, Howland, The Aleutians, The US V.I. & Puerto Rico.

They are a bit busy with earthquakes & Tsunamis.….

So what happens to Diego Garcia after we leave? This is a British Indian Ocean Territory and is still claimed by Mauritius. What if.…?

I found this quote hours after I posted my comment above.

“America alone is strong. America standing with its allies is a good deal stronger. But as Thomas Donnelly and Frederick Kagan observe in Ground Truth, our allies are disarming at the same time that our potential foes are rearming. China and Russia are spending more than 4 percent of their GDP on their military, but France and the United Kingdom spend less than 2.5 percent, Italy 1.8 percent; Germany allocates only 1.3 percent, and consistent with its postwar commitments, Japan spends less than 1.0 percent on defense. Raising the United States defense budget from 3.8 to 4 percent of our GDP would add about $30 billion to defense. Raising defense spending by these five allies to 4 percent of their GDP would add ten times that amount to our combined defense. It is time for our allies to increase their investment in national and global security in order to assume their fair share of the load and to strengthen our combined capabilities.” — mitt Romney, No Apology, p. 97.

False argument on Falkands and Diego Garcia. Britain moved in and either killed off or relocated native peoples. So, of course, the remaining residents are Anglo and want to keep it that way. That’s called conquest. In the U.S. it was called Manifest Destiny. Disposess the locals and claim “ownership.”

Taxpayer, are you saying Britain killed off or relocated the native inhabitants of the Falklands? There were no native inhabitants. In fact the first settlers in the Falklands were actually French, in the late 18th century, followed by the Brits in the early 19th century, who have been there ever since.
The Argentinians have never inhabited the Falklands, their claim is based soley on the oil, natural gas and fisheries resources surrounding the islands. Falkland Islanders do not choose to be ruled by Britain, but consider themselves British, just as English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish people do.

It‘s only a blip .. get over this economic period a few years maybe then the Brits will have 2 more big carriers and defence spending will be back up

One thing that many forget-Falklands 1982-no Naval presence,no Air force presence,60 Royal Marines. Falklands 2011-Frigate/destroyer,Patrol craft,submarine,support craft,4 Typhoon fighters,helicopters,Transport and support planes,state of the art military airbase,1000 troops on the ground.
The UK does not need a Carrier to defend the Islands

They arent ruled by Britain, their independence & security is guaranteed by Britain, big difference

The UK spends enough on defence but gets poor value for money. Part of the problem is that we try to act like a “mini superpower” instead of accepting that, rather than being a global power, we are an important regional power with some global interests. The UK has the resources for national defence in the current climate, but I question the need for kit such as new large (to us!) aircraft carriers. There is a body of opinion, including many in the Royal Navy, who believe that the money would have been better spent on more destroyers/frigates and submarines, plus a pair of 30, 000 CVH-type vessels which could be procured relatively cheaply.

UK doesnt *need* carriers to defend the Falklands — that’s the reason they built the airbase at mt. Pleasant. The idea is that UK will have two or three days warning of an attack leaving ample time to adequately reinforce the garrison.

I’m sure the French resupplied their arsenal again…

Those Islands were discovered by part of the crew of Magalleans that revolted against it in his famous trip to the Pacific. So those Island should be property of Portugal or Spain.

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