Falkland IslandsFalkland Islands
Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster sailed from her home in Portsmouth last week for a routine nine-month Atlantic patrol tasking, which includes the Falklands and South Georgia. She is the first ship in the Royal Navy to deploy with the new Wildcat helicopter, and her crew are wearing the newest naval uniform in 70 years.
The Argentine government and media agree that the country does not have the military capacity to attack the Falkland Islands as feared by Britain. A report in daily La Nacion points out the Argentine armed forces lack landing crafts, troop transport vessels and even the Mirage fighter planes are banned from flying on cloudy days because of repeated problems with their instruments.
The United Kingdom is the main import trading partner of the Falkland Islands with 87% of all imported goods coming from the UK in 2012 (Customs and Immigration 2013) with the rest imported mostly from Chile and Uruguay, according to the latest report on the Falklands' State of the Economy.
The Falkland Islands elected Legislative Assembly welcomed the statement of Secretary of Defense before the House of Commons and said it was reassuring that the UK government remains committed to the defense of the Islands, and equally significant the strong support received by the secretary from members of Parliament.
Argentina will take the United Kingdom before the United Nations Decolonization Committee following London's announcement it was increasing expenditure on the Falkland Islands defense, said Foreign minister Hector Timerman on Wednesday.
The Falkland Islands has released two new documents, the Islands State of the Economy and on income needed to comfortably cover all of a household's expenses. The Falklands enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Americas with low inflation and virtually full employment.
The Falkland Islands economy has witnessed impressive, although volatile, growth in recent years with unemployment rates low enough to be the envy of most countries in the world and the government is free of debt, according to the latest State of the Economy released by the Falklands Policy Unit.
The government of President Cristina Fernandez accused the United Kingdom of using an alleged Argentine threat to the Falkland/Malvinas Islands in order to boost its military budget, while also claiming that the archipelago has been turned into an electoral campaign issue.
United Kingdom Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has dispelled media reports suggesting a surge in troop numbers was likely. Fallon on Tuesday outlined £180 million infrastructure spending plans, but told MPs numbers would remain at around 1,200 military and civilian personnel.
A statement from UK Defense secretary Michael Fallon relative to the Falkland Islands' garrison is expected sometime this week, according to reports in the British media. The Falklands' military response capacity has been a matter of much ongoing debate among analysts and former officers, as Argentina allegedly is involved in increased military expenditure.