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Montevideo, February 28th 2024 - 12:31 UTC

 

 

“Fears over the Falklands mean we need a new Defense Plan”

Thursday, July 6th 2023 - 11:18 UTC
Full article 25 comments
Radakin thought the Falklands could be defended against any serious challenge from Argentina Radakin thought the Falklands could be defended against any serious challenge from Argentina

By Robert Fox, Defense Correspondent, Evening Standard – The (British) Army is again in the spotlight, with a wonderful Whitehall row about who is to lead it after the charismatic General Sir Patrick Sanders steps down next year as Chief of the General Staff. With the Government's rehashed Defense Command White Paper due before Parliament goes on holiday in a few weeks’ time, rumors are rife of more cuts in Britain’s military capability.

So we should ask what are our soldiers and forces for in the age of cyber conflict, information wars, fake news and autonomous killer robots? We are assured that the Army will stay at 72,000.

The two most obvious tests of our forces’ credibility and potency are whether they could still defend the Falkland Islands, and how they compare to Ukraine's military that are now desperately fighting for their lives and their country? Both questions were put to the Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Tony Radakin, in a challenging interrogation by the House of Commons Defense Committee.

The simple answer was that Admiral Radakin thought the Falklands could be defended against any serious challenge from Argentina, though the whole operation would be very different from that in 1982. The issue is given some urgency with recent reports from Chile and about Argentina building military facilities close to British territory in Antarctica — and with Chinese assistance.

Any comparison with Ukraine’s forces exposes serious questions about the UK’s military deficiencies. The forces need to be adjusted for the new spectrum, the six dimensions of modern conflict, and the underpinning of resilience at home — a need stressed every day in the Covid inquiry — though still not fully recognized by government.

Arguments about the next Army boss, instigated largely by potentially outgoing Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, seem all but irrelevant against the urgent need for updating and innovation.

The UK is one of the few NATO members that doesn’t have a National Defense Plan registered with the alliance. This now should be started, as free from Whitehall infighting as possible, and delivered soon after the next general election, whether that brings regime change or not.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Monkeymagic

    The Orkney and Shetland Islands can have independence. They clearly do not form territorial integrity and would neither form and enclave or exclave (which of course in the absurd city of London example would).

    So, the best way for the Orkney or Shetland Islanders to gain independence or indeed join Norway is to prove that it is the unequivocal and sustained will of the people who live there.

    Maybe a referendum where either 70% plus has to vote for a change, or 50% plus on two consecutive occasions over 5-10 years.

    Or perhaps 99%+ for 180 years!

    What a moron you are Think.

    Jul 09th, 2023 - 06:45 pm +2
  • Juan Cervantes

    Malvi,
    1 the cost of defending the islands is miniscule and has no impact on the military budget, quite the opposite as it give the miliary a place to practice without disturbance to any civilian population,
    2 it has been returned to the country it belonged to in 1982 when your evil military Junta was kicked out,

    Jul 06th, 2023 - 03:19 pm +1
  • Terence Hill

    Self-Determination Defined

    UN Charter

    2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,
    55. With a view to the creation ..and self-determination of peoples,
    56. All Members pledge themselves ...for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.
    73. Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for ..peoples have not yet attained .. self-government recognize the principle ..b. to develop self-government, ...“
    103. In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.

    Note, UN resolutions cannot negate UN Charter articles 73, and 103. Nor can recommendations from a UN sub, sub committee either.

    Jul 08th, 2023 - 09:24 am +1
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