More Rhetoric over the Falklands

Via the BBC:  UK Falklands military exercises ‘provoke’ Argentina

Argentina has accused the UK of provocation over plans to hold military exercises in the Falkland Islands.

It said drills by British forces would include missile launches and were part of a "pattern" of "hostile acts".

The British ambassador in Buenos Aires has been summoned by Argentina’s deputy foreign minister, who will protest over the "new show of military force".

The UK Foreign Office dismissed the claims as "fanciful" and said next week’s exercises were "routine".

While recognizing the power of nationalism and history in these types of situations, I must confess that Argentina’s push to continually raise the Falklands/Malvinas issues strikes me as pointless, if not a bit embarrassing for Argentina.  I suppose it plays well at home, which may be all that matters in terms of explaining the behavior (and some of their neighbors may find it laudable as well, I suppose).

At any rate, it strikes me that the Falklands are the anti-Crimea.  Despite whatever claims can be made by Argentina on historical grounds the bottom line is this:  the population living on the islands have no ethno-linguistic ties to Argentina, the population in question voted overwhelmingly to reject joining Argentina (1,513 to 3 in 2013), and the UK is superior militarily to Argentina.  The sum of these factors rather resoundingly equals:  the Falklands will remain in the hands of the UK.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, World Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. bill says:

    more saber rattling by christina i imagine- nothing else seems to be going well down there so why not!? geographically the island was never a part of arg. anyway, although it’s not remotely close to england either. . not that i have any mad love for england but the populace chooses to remain part of them, democracy works there, as opposed to the mainland.

  2. Andre Kenji says:

    As a neighbor of Argentina, I don´t have much sympathy for European Military presence close to my country.

  3. @Andre Kenji: I can appreciate that.

  4. M. Bouffant says:

    It would be nice if the Falklands remained British w/o another war, however.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    To be fair, though, the Falkland folk who have lived under a democratic regime for so long may also not have much sympathy for a nation like Argentina that has such a history of government by caudillo.

  6. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds:

    My problem is not with the islanders, but with the European Military Presence and with the idea of oil exploration. My ideal solution would be something like complete independence for these isles with somekind for joint defense agreement.

    But I REALLY don´t like when English speaking people talks about the Falklands as if we, South Americans, don´t exist.

    And yes, I REALLY don´t like Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.

  7. @Andre Kenji: Like I said, I can appreciate your position. My bottom line is that the islands in question are clearly not going to be in Argentine possession (and I am not even sure that the claim is really all that strong, historically speaking and is even weaker vis-a-vis the people currently living there).

    I suppose, too, my views are colored by the ridiculous attempt by the military government to try and take the islands in the early 1980s.

  8. @michael reynolds: I will say this: Argentine, for all its problems, has been a fully functional democracy for over 30 years now.

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I don´t think that the isles SHOULD be an Argentinean possession. But I think that the fate of the isles should at least consider their neighbors. To me, independence should be the best solution. There is also the issue of oil, and I don´t think that the status quo is ideal for the British taxpayer.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Wiki lists the GDP of the Falklands as 55K$ per capita . According to
    this the cost of the ongoing defense of the islands is 31K$ per capita (with substantial costs unaccounted). This makes sense?

  11. al-Ameda says:

    The new British Empire is, essentially, the UK plus the Falklands.

  12. Rich says:

    Argentina a fully functional democracy, give me another laugh! every week they make Falklands an issue to avoid their governments terrible record at home. how is Christina still in power? I am sure the people of Argentina are not stupid and do not accept all the rhetoric she puts out. And to the countries neighboring in south america the only reason the military are in the Falklands is due to the provocation and historic invasions of their corrupt governments. Even though I have faults and failings in our own National and Local Government I would far prefer to be ruled under a real democracy rather than the artificial one of Argentina and others in the world. I mean no offense to Argentina just to the injustice the people have to live under I would rather vote the Tory party than Christina, which in my part of the world would seem an end of world event.

  13. @Rich: You are confusing policy outcomes/politicians you don’t like with how a government is selected and the basic institutional makeup thereof.

  14. bill says:

    @Rich: in the end, the people get what they voted for- so it is a democracy. that they choose to put off the inevitable and dream of a prosperous future is human nature- that that’ll happen any time soon is pure delusion. and it’s really too bad, that country has so much potential.

  15. Luke says:

    @Andre Kenji: it wouldn’t need to be so heavily defended if Argentina hadn’t invaded it….