United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday pledged closer defense cooperation with Argentina. Standing beside his Argentine counterpart, Oscar Aguad, Mattis said the military partnership can be strengthened and alluded to the help the U.S. Navy provided Argentina last November when one of its submarines went missing with 44 sailors aboard.
In a radical reform of Argentina's defense doctrine, President Mauricio Macri said on Monday he is removing a ban on military involvement in fighting crime, terrorist threats and other internal security issues. Macri said he will modify a 2006 decree that limited the armed forces to defense against attacks by another country.
In an effort to fix a persistent deterioration of relations, the President ordered a 20% rise in the salaries of the Armed Forces. It was a political decision against the fiscal austerity measures that the government promised the IMF to deserve a financial rescue of 50,000 million dollars, but necessary to calm what already threatened to become a serious storm.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri said Monday that Argentina needs armed forces adapted to the 21st century, ready to carry out peace missions and come to the rescue in times of disaster, after “years” of being ignored by the government. He made the statement at an Army Day event.
A former commander of the Argentine Army and Malvinas war veteran Martin Balza praised the recent meeting of President Mauricio Macri with UK Prime Minister David Cameron arguing that whatever is done to advance a serious, respectful, mature dialogue must be welcomed; there won't be immediate results from that dialogue, but this is like a marathon, what matters are the first steps.
Brazil announced on Monday its first agreement on combined operations with Argentina which will allow the two countries forces to act jointly in catastrophe situations and peace missions.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said that “Argentina is absolutely committed to peace” and dismissed as “ridiculous” statements from the United Kingdom threatening to use force if needed to preserver the occupation of the Falkland Islands.