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Old 05-22-2012   #41
Bullmoose Bailey
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Default Dear Dayuhan

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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Do you really expect the UK to regain the capacity to project Air-Sea dominance? Hardly seems likely, given he state of their economy.
Dear Dayuhan:

In reference to your above query, I do so expect.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...updated-01630/

The HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales will be the largest warships ever built for the RN & basically complement the Nimitz class better than the Invincible class ever could.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-22-2012 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Fix quote
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Old 05-22-2012   #42
davidbfpo
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Default Two RN carriers - minus aircraft and not operational

The contract to build two large British aircraft carriers was so legally constructed they could not be cancelled, thanks to the UK's most powerful lobby, BAE. Instead we face the strong likelihood of having two carriers minus any aircraft to fly from them (assuming the F35 flies and is produced) and a nation unable for a host of reasons to put both into operational use.

I do not think it is a wise strategic choice to order the carriers, even more so given the state of the economy. An 'Air-Sea dominance' role is not one I recall being made much of, usually the very minimal debate has featured the flexible projection of influence and the power to intervene.

Defending the Falklands is a very low priority for the UK, despite the diplomatic noise from Argentina, which has neither the will or capability currently to use force and BA has stressed force is not an option.
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Old 05-24-2012   #43
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The Royal Navy currently possesses 20 Major Surface Combat Vessels, of which on average 5 are in refit at any one time. I very much doubt that the Royal Navy could put together 1 x Carrier Group (a carrier needs escorts) let alone 2.

At the strategic level the UK policy appears to be to make the Falklands issue one of self-determination, while at th same time making clear that the Falklands sovereignty issue is not linked to that of South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the British 'slice' of Antarctica. If the Falkland Islanders did decide (or it was decided for them ) to join Argentina then valuable fishing and natural resource rights, as well as a claim to Antarctica would remain. I cannot help but wonder though, what would happen if the Falkland Islanders opted to join Chile instead...

Currently the Falklands are very prosperous with one of the highest per capita incomes in the Commonwealth and an enviable standard of living. The prosperity is based on incomes from fishing revenues. The commercial exploitation of oil and gas in territorial waters (including the claimed Exclusive Economic Zone - the EEZ) would be a strategic game changer for both the UK and Argentina.

One thing that the UK learnt very clearly from the 1982 conflict was the value of maybe having submarines in the area; I would expect this to continue.
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Old 12-28-2012   #44
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Default Special Relationship 1982, not so special

The UK press have been feasting on the newly released Cabinet papers for 1982, under the 'Thirty Year Rule' for public disclosure and so we have this headline 'US wanted to warn Argentina about South Georgia'. I recall that relations were a little taut, but this stretches the imagination:
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The United States wanted to give Argentina advance warning that Britain was going to retake South Georgia in 1982 in a move that would have spelt disaster ahead of the Falklands campaign, according to newly released files.
US strategic, national policy aside it has been in the public domain for many years the divergence between DoS and DoD; this disclosure is new to the public.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...h-Georgia.html
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Old 12-28-2012   #45
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Default Did the United States want to give the Argentines advance warning?

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The United States wanted to give Argentina advance warning that Britain was going to retake South Georgia in 1982 in a move that would have spelt disaster ahead of the Falklands campaign, according to newly released files.
Or was it just Secretary “I am in control here” Haig?
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Old 12-28-2012   #46
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Haig's attitude seems chicken hearted at its base. An attitude of 'Yes, but... What if...Oh maybe we can be work it so everybody likes us...' Not only is that chicken hearted it is immature. There are times when you have to choose a side. I think Haig's attitude is maybe in the ascendant nowadays.

Maggie on the other hand, she always was a better man than most men.
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Old 12-28-2012   #47
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Default Mrs Thatcher

Carl posted:
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Maggie on the other hand, she always was a better man than most men.
The invasion of the Falkland Islands was the nearest that Mrs Thatcher came to losing power - until many years later, from within her own party - such was the power of the parliamentary reaction; note public anger took awhile to develop. The then Leader of the Opposition, from the Labour party was Michael Foot, made an amazing speech, some viewed it as his best, to a packed and angry House of Commons.

Yes three government ministers resigned, from the Foreign Office (FCO), notably it's head Lord Carrington.
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Old 12-29-2012   #48
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From the article David provided the link to

Quote:
He feared that support for a European colonial power would undermine ties with Latin America and hamper Washington’s covert campaign against communism in the western hemisphere.
Our relationship with the UK and other colonial powers has a long history of being troublesome, and the deals we made to support France, UK, and the Dutch regain their colonies in Asia alone after WWII have resulted in tens of thousands being killed. The American idea of independence was compromised and we lost considerable influence that at the time played into the hands of the communists.

Fast forward to 1982 and Latin America where we were supporting a number of States battle communist insurgencies and had the Monroe Doctrine I can understand Haig's position. I definitely don't agree in putting an ally at risk by compromising their mission, but overt U.S. support couldn't be beneficial to our longer term interests in the region. Some other approach to mediate the conflict may have been possible, but I suspect like everything we do it was crisis action planning and they were looking for expedient means to minimize damage to our national interests.

We had a similiar spat where we actually acted (diplomatically and economically) during the Suez Crisis (1956/7) time frame against the UK and France. Nassar and the Egyptian people saw the UK as a greater threat to their national interests than the USSR, and the US needed Egypt in their anti-communist coalition. Nations act to pursue their interests.
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Old 12-29-2012   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
I definitely don't agree in putting an ally at risk by compromising their mission, but overt U.S. support couldn't be beneficial to our longer term interests in the region. Some other approach to mediate the conflict may have been possible, but I suspect like everything we do it was crisis action planning and they were looking for expedient means to minimize damage to our national interests.
I look at it a little differently. We do have to give our nation the best chance. But in the case of the Falklands, what actually gave our nation the best chance to do well in the world at large over decades to come? I think the best chance was not to seek advantage with Argentina, which in the context of the world's countries is the prototype of an ineffectual lightweight. The best chance was to stand with a historic ally with whom we have the closest possible cultural ties and a country that for the previous 600 years had been a force to be reckoned with, not to mention a critical part of the forces facing the Bear in Europe at the time. We would have been nuts to have equated good relations with Argentina with standing by the Brits.
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Old 12-29-2012   #50
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Carl,

I agree the UK was and remains a valued Ally, but it wasn't simply weighing the value of the relationship between Argentia and the UK, in that case the UK wins with a wide margin. The difficult part was assessing the potential on the region at large (Latin America). I think Haig did his job advising the President that it could cause problems. Reagan never waivered from supporting the UK, but admitted it put it us in a tough position.

It did result in severely undermining the Rio Treaty, but it was already problematic, so it wasn't that much of a loss. Furthermore, Argentia was an aggressive nation that concerned a lot of the nations in the region. Apparently they were getting ready to invade Chile before the conflict in the Falkands went bad (for them). In the end I don't think our low profile assistance hurt us.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB374/

Quote:
At a meeting in London on April 8, 1982, shortly after the war began, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher expressed concern to U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig about President Ronald Reagan's recent public statements of impartiality. In response, according to a previously secret memorandum of the conversation, "The Secretary said that he was certain the Prime Minister knew where the President stood. We are not impartial."
Quote:
a conversation with British officials at the end of March, Haig declared that the U.S. diplomatic effort "will of course, have a greater chance of influencing Argentine behavior if we appear to them not to favor one side or the other."
Quote:
At the same time, the White House recognized that British intransigence would create problems for the U.S. in its dealings with Latin America. President Reagan, reacting to Haig's secret reports on the British position, wrote to the secretary: "[Your report] makes clear how difficult it will be to foster a compromise that gives Maggie enough to carry on and at the same time meets the test of 'equity' with our Latin neighbors."
More at the site.
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Old 12-29-2012   #51
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Bill:

In the realm of what might have beens, how do you think the Argentines would have fared if they had attacked Chile?
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Old 12-30-2012   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Bill:

In the realm of what might have beens, how do you think the Argentines would have fared if they had attacked Chile?
Not a clue, but I suspect we have folks monitoring who worked in that region and could offer an educated guess.
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