Falklands tensions

RobWilliams

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South American bloc Mercosur to bar Falklands ships | Navy News at DefenseTalk

Essentially the article boils down on a boycott on any vessels flying the Falklands flag and thus preventing them from making port in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

It seems to be something different than it was back in '82, it seems that the majority of South America now supports Argentinas claims on the disputed islands. The fact that Brazil and Uruguay have 'unanimously' supported this suggests they are now firmly behind Argentina so 'IF' tensions do escalate, Argentina would not be alone if the same scenario should unfold.

What are your thoughts on this? To me it seems like the usual sabre rattling but with a disturbing undertone, there is some debate as to whether the UK could successfully defend the islands so if you bring in Brazil and Uruguay it would be even more difficult.
 

gazzzwp

Member
South American bloc Mercosur to bar Falklands ships | Navy News at DefenseTalk

Essentially the article boils down on a boycott on any vessels flying the Falklands flag and thus preventing them from making port in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

It seems to be something different than it was back in '82, it seems that the majority of South America now supports Argentinas claims on the disputed islands. The fact that Brazil and Uruguay have 'unanimously' supported this suggests they are now firmly behind Argentina so 'IF' tensions do escalate, Argentina would not be alone if the same scenario should unfold.

What are your thoughts on this? To me it seems like the usual sabre rattling but with a disturbing undertone, there is some debate as to whether the UK could successfully defend the islands so if you bring in Brazil and Uruguay it would be even more difficult.

It's true that the Latin American nations could make life very difficult for the islanders by sanctions and lack of maritime access etc; however unless the UK were to be involved in another more important conflict elsewhere she would vehemently defend her islands. It's true that the RN capability is diminished somewhat at present until the first of the new generation of carriers comes into service (in 2016?) but don't forget the UK has other formidable naval assets besides carriers.

The insignificance of the FI is a double edged sword; their significance to the UK is a matter of national pride more than anything else and it's hard to imagine that they represent any possible economic or strategic significance either now or in the future. Latin America must therefore think the same; are they really prepared to risk losing ships and men just for the sake of a few tiny specks in the South Atlantic? Highly unlikely in this day and age. Brazil for example is a developing nation and has now overtaken the UK in terms GNP; they have bigger fish to fry.

I wouldn't worry for now. It's remotely conceivable that if the UK becomes embroiled in another Middle East skirmish the Argentines could decide to launch an attack while her back is turned.

Would the US support the UK in a war for the FI? Again it depends on priorities at the time.

In short Latin America would be crazy to do anything stupid because even if they were ultimately successful due to their geographical advantage the cost would be high; several ships would be destroyed at the very least, and hundreds of lives lost. Is it worth it?
 

RobWilliams

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It's true that the Latin American nations could make life very difficult for the islanders by sanctions and lack of maritime access etc; however unless the UK were to be involved in another more important conflict elsewhere she would vehemently defend her islands. It's true that the RN capability is diminished somewhat at present until the first of the new generation of carriers comes into service (in 2016?) but don't forget the UK has other formidable naval assets besides carriers.

The insignificance of the FI is a double edged sword; their significance to the UK is a matter of national pride more than anything else and it's hard to imagine that they represent any possible economic or strategic significance either now or in the future. Latin America must therefore think the same; are they really prepared to risk losing ships and men just for the sake of a few tiny specks in the South Atlantic? Highly unlikely in this day and age. Brazil for example is a developing nation and has now overtaken the UK in terms GNP; they have bigger fish to fry.

I wouldn't worry for now. It's remotely conceivable that if the UK becomes embroiled in another Middle East skirmish the Argentines could decide to launch an attack while her back is turned.

Would the US support the UK in a war for the FI? Again it depends on priorities at the time.

In short Latin America would be crazy to do anything stupid because even if they were ultimately successful due to their geographical advantage the cost would be high; several ships would be destroyed at the very least, and hundreds of lives lost. Is it worth it?
The shedule for the carriers is 2016 for QE and 2018 for PoW (i think), its true that the RN capability has decreased but development of the RN isn't stagnated and dying (as some media outlets would like us to believe) like the T45s, carriers, Astutes and later the T26s. At this moment in time i believe the UK could defend the islands but i won't go into that.

True, true. It would seem like a pretty pointless conflict especially for Brazil and Uruguay as Argentina would mainly reap the benefits (with maybe a few perks for the rest of South America). I'm not sure if this is still true today but i'm under the impression that the oil/gas reserves around the Falklands are both very expensive to extract due to current technology and the quality is a bit 'naff, didn't know that about the GNP of Brazil, i'm fairly novice about global military (which i'm trying to correct) but have no real grasp on countries economies except what is nationally published in mass media, bad, i know.

Yeah, in the short term it seems unlikely but thats both a double edged sword. As it stands the RN currently is its weakest it will be in a very long time until when the carriers are built with their compliment of F35C aircraft and the rest of the ships are built after which it would be militarily impossible so they may decide now is probably the most likely time for a successful 'invasion'. Its just the union of other South American countries in support of this embargo hasn't been seen before.

I doubt the US would officially or militarily get involved for the same reasons as before, mainly to not offend the Latin-American community. However Caspar Weinburger apparently did offer the use of a US carrier to the UK but was declined [1]

It definitely would not be worth it, but it seems a bit silly for Argentina to wave the stick when it isn't militarily, economically or politically prepared to back it up IF the situation did escalate.

[1] Events leading to the Falklands War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (the 'source' for this statement as taken from Wiki is the following)

"D. George Boyce, The Falklands War, Palgrave MacMillan, (2005). page 92. Also see Richardson, L., When Allies Differ: Anglo-American relations during the Suez and Falklands Crises, London, (1996)"

I also remember reading it in '20th Century Battlefields, Peter and Dan Snow (2008) page 264-265. I'm sourcing it because apart from that book you very rarely hear of this generous offer.
 
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jorgedr

New Member
South American bloc Mercosur to bar Falklands ships | Navy News at DefenseTalk

Essentially the article boils down on a boycott on any vessels flying the Falklands flag and thus preventing them from making port in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

It seems to be something different than it was back in '82, it seems that the majority of South America now supports Argentinas claims on the disputed islands. The fact that Brazil and Uruguay have 'unanimously' supported this suggests they are now firmly behind Argentina so 'IF' tensions do escalate, Argentina would not be alone if the same scenario should unfold.

What are your thoughts on this? To me it seems like the usual sabre rattling but with a disturbing undertone, there is some debate as to whether the UK could successfully defend the islands so if you bring in Brazil and Uruguay it would be even more difficult.
I have been replying this kind of thread for months now.

Let me give you some data from, let say, the other side ( I'm Argentinean)

Our actual goverment does not like much the military so the spending on that area is on the historic minimun, most of the money are spend on capabilities recovery rather than increase/upgrade, can we take the islands? maybe, retain it? not a chance, the tomahawks will take out our airbases on day one and the Air force is a shadow of what it was in the 82.

Military capabilities aside, there is no chance of military actions mostly because everybody here think that will be really stupid and will isolate the country as it did the first time.
For almost the last 30 years the country has been a democracy, with many flaws but a democracy all the same, remember that the goverment in the 82 wasn't popular among us, quite the oposite.

Uruguay is, military speaking, irrelevant.

Brazil has better capabilities but until the purchase and induction of the scorpene class submarines plus the the SSN they are developing is complete, they are no match for the RN SSN's

On the politcal/historic side, Brazil recently had discovered huge oil deposits offshore in their EEZ, thats why they begun huge investments in their navy and they dont like the presence of any other world power in the south atlantic, plus they main commercial partner is Argentina ( by 2007 Brazil exported goods to Argentina for 10 billion dollars againt 3,7 Bn to the UK)

As the Uruguay president said days ago:
"We don't have any thing against UK but we have a lot in favor to Argentina"

So, going to war? unlikely unless the UK does something first (dont know what that would be)

And is more effective and inexpensive to do what we were doing so far

Funny thing, the most in trouble right now are the Chileans, they have historically supported the UK in many ways in this matter, they may have to face the rest of the Latinamerican community asking them to choose sides sooner than later ( just my thought)

Well I guess this kind of "the UK defence budget cuts are to big!, what if Argentina get 20 kirov class cruisers + 1000 yahonts + 200 T50-PAK overnight and take the islands plus Gibraltar !!!" will keep popping for a while.

Jorge
 

RobWilliams

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I have been replying this kind of thread for months now.

Let me give you some data from, let say, the other side ( I'm Argentinean)

Our actual goverment does not like much the military so the spending on that area is on the historic minimun, most of the money are spend on capabilities recovery rather than increase/upgrade, can we take the islands? maybe, retain it? not a chance, the tomahawks will take out our airbases on day one and the Air force is a shadow of what it was in the 82.

Military capabilities aside, there is no chance of military actions mostly because everybody here think that will be really stupid and will isolate the country as it did the first time.
For almost the last 30 years the country has been a democracy, with many flaws but a democracy all the same, remember that the goverment in the 82 wasn't popular among us, quite the oposite.

Uruguay is, military speaking, irrelevant.

Brazil has better capabilities but until the purchase and induction of the scorpene class submarines plus the the SSN they are developing is complete, they are no match for the RN SSN's

On the politcal/historic side, Brazil recently had discovered huge oil deposits offshore in their EEZ, thats why they begun huge investments in their navy and they dont like the presence of any other world power in the south atlantic, plus they main commercial partner is Argentina ( by 2007 Brazil exported goods to Argentina for 10 billion dollars againt 3,7 Bn to the UK)

As the Uruguay president said days ago:
"We don't have any thing against UK but we have a lot in favor to Argentina"

So, going to war? unlikely unless the UK does something first (dont know what that would be)

And is more effective and inexpensive to do what we were doing so far

Funny thing, the most in trouble right now are the Chileans, they have historically supported the UK in many ways in this matter, they may have to face the rest of the Latinamerican community asking them to choose sides sooner than later ( just my thought)

Well I guess this kind of "the UK defence budget cuts are to big!, what if Argentina get 20 kirov class cruisers + 1000 yahonts + 200 T50-PAK overnight and take the islands plus Gibraltar !!!" will keep popping for a while.

Jorge
Excellent to hear it from an Argentinian point of view :) The point about military recovery is very valid, i think since '82 the only aircraft carrier and the only 2 amphibious assault ships available have been decommisioned (i think thats correct, if not i would welcome the correction)

True, thats the main reason i started this thread, i was suprised that other South American countries allowed the embargo to go ahead and to me in my juvenile frame of mind saw that as essentially saying 'yeah, we agree with you and will stick with it whatever' but i guess thats just naivety. I'm not sure how true this is but another article i read said Paraguay also agreed to it, despite not having a single mile of coastline :rolleyes: but i trust the article from here on DT more.

Again the point about Uruguay is true, they don't have a comparable capability to the RN and the same kind of true with Brazil. Their sole carrier (Sao Paulo or someting along those lines) carries out-of-date airframes and just generally is 2nd rate in comparison.

Haha well theres always going to be the speculation that a country may gain sudden superior capability but its highly unlikely, for me the reason this particular article was interesting was until now Argentinian claims on the islands had been made solely by themselves but now they may have political backing from most of South America. Generally comments about RN cuts seem to neglect all the current projects going on, 6 T45s, 7 Astute-class submarines, 2 carriers (lots of bad PR about these) and 13 T26s. The general vibe one gets is "we're losing all this and we're not getting anything back, these losses will NEVER be recuperated", at least thats what it sounds like to me.
 
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jorgedr

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Excellent to hear it from an Argentinian point of view :) The point about military recovery is very valid, i think since '82 the only aircraft carrier and the only 2 amphibious assault ships available have been decommisioned (i think thats correct, if not i would welcome the correction)

True, thats the main reason i started this thread, i was suprised that other South American countries allowed the embargo to go ahead and to me in my juvenile frame of mind saw that as essentially saying 'yeah, we agree with you and will stick with it whatever' but i guess thats just naivety. I'm not sure how true this is but another article i read said Paraguay also agreed to it, despite not having a single mile of coastline :rolleyes: but i trust the article from here on DT more.

Again the point about Uruguay is true, they don't have a comparable capability to the RN and the same kind of true with Brazil. Their sole carrier (Sao Paulo or someting along those lines) carries out-of-date airframes and just generally is 2nd rate in comparison.

Haha well theres always going to be the speculation that a country may gain sudden superior capability but its highly unlikely, for me the reason this particular article was interesting was until now Argentinian claims on the islands had been made solely by themselves but now they may have political backing from most of South America. Generally comments about RN cuts seem to neglect all the current projects going on, 6 T45s, 7 Astute-class submarines, 2 carriers (lots of bad PR about these) and 13 T26s. The general vibe one gets is "we're losing all this and we're not getting anything back, these losses will NEVER be recuperated", at least thats what it sounds like to me.
The carrier 25 de mayo was decomisioned more than a decade ago. three times we got offers for an amphibious ship from France, the three time our goverment refuse or let pass the offer (sigh..).

The last time the Brazilian carrier Sao Paulo (means "Saint Paul")had had some real attack capabilities was when ours Super Enterdards and turbotrackers ASW were on board for a joint exercise ;)
Due to the war, the western countries won't sell us anything more powerful than a used bullet and our military will became hippies before buying anything from Russia (although we recently purchase two Mil-17 Helicopters for Antartic duties)
You know if tomorrow my country decide to buy 30 Sukhoi Su-35 and 100 P-800 Yakhonts I will have to ask my boss to have a week off the office just to reply threads on DT :)
 

gazzzwp

Member
The carrier 25 de mayo was decomisioned more than a decade ago. three times we got offers for an amphibious ship from France, the three time our goverment refuse or let pass the offer (sigh..).

The last time the Brazilian carrier Sao Paulo (means "Saint Paul")had had some real attack capabilities was when ours Super Enterdards and turbotrackers ASW were on board for a joint exercise ;)
Due to the war, the western countries won't sell us anything more powerful than a used bullet and our military will became hippies before buying anything from Russia (although we recently purchase two Mil-17 Helicopters for Antartic duties)
You know if tomorrow my country decide to buy 30 Sukhoi Su-35 and 100 P-800 Yakhonts I will have to ask my boss to have a week off the office just to reply threads on DT :)
I agree it's very good to hear an Argentinian's point of view. I would also add as a UK citizen that I disagreed with the oil drilling activities recently and I feel that this could well be what has angered the Latin American nations and raised tensions. I don't wish to start a political debate as this is a military forum; I just thought it was worth making the point as it could have a bearing on future military relations.
 

RobWilliams

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The carrier 25 de mayo was decomisioned more than a decade ago. three times we got offers for an amphibious ship from France, the three time our goverment refuse or let pass the offer (sigh..).

The last time the Brazilian carrier Sao Paulo (means "Saint Paul")had had some real attack capabilities was when ours Super Enterdards and turbotrackers ASW were on board for a joint exercise ;)
Due to the war, the western countries won't sell us anything more powerful than a used bullet and our military will became hippies before buying anything from Russia (although we recently purchase two Mil-17 Helicopters for Antartic duties)
You know if tomorrow my country decide to buy 30 Sukhoi Su-35 and 100 P-800 Yakhonts I will have to ask my boss to have a week off the office just to reply threads on DT :)
I suppose with the amphibious assault ship issue that it would be viewed by the world like 'well well well, why do they want that vessel, participating in any amphibious landings anywhere?' i guess. :)

Ah, well if thats the case then your best bet is to buy Russian gear or risk falling too far behind. Again this might cause issues around 'getting friendly with the Russians' but still you'd probably get a better deal with Russia than dodging around the West. Haha true, true :p:
 

swerve

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Due to the war, the western countries won't sell us anything more powerful than a used bullet
IIRC Argentina has had outright or tentative offers of refurbished & upgraded Mirage F.1s (see the Moroccan upgrade - with a new radar, other avionics, & new weapons such as Mica integrated, it's a pretty good fighter, & a S. African/Israeli upgrade has also been marketed), the French amphibious ships you mentioned (Chile has just bought one of them - Foudre), secondhand Mirage 2000s, Kfir, etc. - but has not followed up any of them.

In the 1990s, the USA was happy to sell secondhand A-4s, & equipment for a major upgrade of them (I think it also has one or two French bits), & the resulting A-4AR is a better fighter in some ways than anything else in Argentinean service.
 

swerve

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It seems to be something different than it was back in '82, it seems that the majority of South America now supports Argentinas claims on the disputed islands.
The majority of South America supported Argentina's claims in 1982. But most disapproved of the invasion, & IIRC only Peru was willing to provide any material help.

I think they all closed their ports & airfields to the RN & RAF, though - apart from Chile, which offered surreptitious help to the UK.

There's no real change. Venezuela is now the most active supporter of Argentina, & Brazil & Uruguay are willing to provide minor help which doesn't cost them anything significant, but (with the possible exception of Venezuela) they won't provide any military help, & will deplore any use of force by Argentina.
 

RobWilliams

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The majority of South America supported Argentina's claims in 1982. But most disapproved of the invasion, & IIRC only Peru was willing to provide any material help.

I think they all closed their ports & airfields to the RN & RAF, though - apart from Chile, which offered surreptitious help to the UK.

There's no real change. Venezuela is now the most active supporter of Argentina, & Brazil & Uruguay are willing to provide minor help which doesn't cost them anything significant, but (with the possible exception of Venezuela) they won't provide any military help, & will deplore any use of force by Argentina.
I didn't phrase that correctly, from what i understand (which could easily be false) was that in the first conflict most of the backing South America gave Argentina was political whereas what they are doing now seems more tangible than before, unless this is what happened in the past?

I would have thought if the rest of SA disapproved of violence or aggression against the islands then to me it seems strange to bring in the embargo on the Falklands. To me it just seems provocative
 
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swerve

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It isn't an act of violence. It doesn't indicate any change in attitude to a hypothetical Argentinean attack. They still disapprove of that, & I can't see any of them providing assistance to it.

In 1982, Peru gave direct military aid, in the form of equipment. When a Vulcan was forced to divert to Brazil due to a snapped refuelling probe, it was escorted to a military airbase by Brazilian fighters & impounded until the just before the end of the war. South American countries closed their airspace & waters to the RAF & RN. That's a bit more than just political support.

Brazil & Uruguay are friendly to the UK, but disagree with it on this single issue.
 

jorgedr

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IIRC Argentina has had outright or tentative offers of refurbished & upgraded Mirage F.1s (see the Moroccan upgrade - with a new radar, other avionics, & new weapons such as Mica integrated, it's a pretty good fighter, & a S. African/Israeli upgrade has also been marketed), the French amphibious ships you mentioned (Chile has just bought one of them - Foudre), secondhand Mirage 2000s, Kfir, etc. - but has not followed up any of them.

In the 1990s, the USA was happy to sell secondhand A-4s, & equipment for a major upgrade of them (I think it also has one or two French bits), & the resulting A-4AR is a better fighter in some ways than anything else in Argentinean service.
I understand that those second hand air frame had too many hours in service and were rejected, plus here we hope we never buy mirages ever again ;)

The A4AR is a nice fighter but the radar came downgraded and with no BVR capabilities ( I mean they wont sell us any BVR missile) basically none of those offers had any chance against any modern aircraft out there, so why bother?
and let face it, even if we put all the money on the table will the US sell us F35? Tomahawks? not a chance.
 

RobWilliams

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It isn't an act of violence. It doesn't indicate any change in attitude to a hypothetical Argentinean attack. They still disapprove of that, & I can't see any of them providing assistance to it.

In 1982, Peru gave direct military aid, in the form of equipment. When a Vulcan was forced to divert to Brazil due to a snapped refuelling probe, it was escorted to a military airbase by Brazilian fighters & impounded until the just before the end of the war. South American countries closed their airspace & waters to the RAF & RN. That's a bit more than just political support.

Brazil & Uruguay are friendly to the UK, but disagree with it on this single issue.
That is very true, but the denial of access to their airspace and waters is understandable during hostilities as they did support Argentina but i would have thought placing this embargo during peacetime seems a bit illogical. From my PoV anyway :)
 

swerve

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It's a very limited embargo. I think it only affects a couple of dozen vessels.It's a token gesture.
 

swerve

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I understand that those second hand air frame had too many hours in service and were rejected, plus here we hope we never buy mirages ever again ;)

The A4AR is a nice fighter but the radar came downgraded and with no BVR capabilities ( I mean they wont sell us any BVR missile) basically none of those offers had any chance against any modern aircraft out there, so why bother?
and let face it, even if we put all the money on the table will the US sell us F35? Tomahawks? not a chance.
What's wrong with Mirages? Many countries have had good service from them, & those who've used them in wars have mostly been very happy with their performance. Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa - all loved (or still do) their Mirages. In Argentina's case, you were using them in very adverse conditions.

So the USA won't sell you Tomahawks. So what? There are very few countries it will sell Tomahawks to. And the F-35 has a lot of British components, which make it difficult to sell to you. These are irrelevant. What matters is what it will sell you, & what other countries will sell. You could probably buy up all the Mirage 2000s currently operated by Qatar & the UAE. That would be an excellent fleet, very well-maintained, up to date, & the majority of them with many years of life. You could have bought Kfirs. You had the opportunity to buy stored Mirage F.1s which, with a life-extension & upgrade, would have lasted long enough to make their purchase worthwhile, & been a vast improvement over what you have now.

As far as I can see, the biggest problems aren't the refusal of countries to sell to Argentina, but a combination of money (your government starves the armed forces) & a refusal to accept what is seen as second-best, apparently out of pride. Your air force seems to prefer to have nothing, rather than something which it thinks isn't good enough.
 

CheeZe

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If the Falklands were attacked, would that allow the UK call in NATO support? I'm curious as to whether the US would play a similar role or more a proactive one in this theoretical scenario. They've seen that the Brits can do it and that it's not the crapshoot they envisioned it would be in '82. Anyone who knows more about NATO got anything for me?
 

RobWilliams

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Theoretically the UK would be justified in calling in NATO (I think, but not 100% sure because of the conflicting opinion) but they wouldn't, there wouldn't be any need. AFAIK the current garrison (which is much larger than '82) and reaction plans in place would be adequate for the defence of the islands to be successful.

IIRC the UK was offered the use of a carrier if necessary by the US but it was rejected on grounds of practicality and I suspect this would be the same again (IF a carrier was offered, which I highly doubt, the US got bigger fish to fry)
 

swerve

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Theoretically the UK would be justified in calling in NATO
We can request, but NATO has no obligation to even consider a request, because the NATO treaty lays down very clearly that the alliance is geographically limited. The Falklands are outside the NATO area, as are all the British, French & Dutch territories in the West Indies. That was deliberate: the USA & some other members didn't want to get dragged into colonial wars, & the USA was happy to exclude its Pacific territories.

Afghanistan is OK, because it is agreed by NATO that it was the base from which an attack was launched on a NATO member (the USA) within the NATO area (the Continental USA).

BTW, the Uruguayan coast guard legal department has reported that it can not find any legal basis for stopping Falklands-flagged vessels visiting Uruguayan ports. The coast guard is the organisation responsible for implementing the supposed ban, & the Mercosur agreement says that the members agree to do all they can within international & their own laws to impose a ban. So Uruguay has, in effect, agreed to impose a ban if its laws allow it, but they don't. ;)

I wonder if El Presidente knew this when he signed that memorandum?
 

RobWilliams

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We can request, but NATO has no obligation to even consider a request, because the NATO treaty lays down very clearly that the alliance is geographically limited. The Falklands are outside the NATO area, as are all the British, French & Dutch territories in the West Indies. That was deliberate: the USA & some other members didn't want to get dragged into colonial wars, & the USA was happy to exclude its Pacific territories.

Afghanistan is OK, because it is agreed by NATO that it was the base from which an attack was launched on a NATO member (the USA) within the NATO area (the Continental USA).

BTW, the Uruguayan coast guard legal department has reported that it can not find any legal basis for stopping Falklands-flagged vessels visiting Uruguayan ports. The coast guard is the organisation responsible for implementing the supposed ban, & the Mercosur agreement says that the members agree to do all they can within international & their own laws to impose a ban. So Uruguay has, in effect, agreed to impose a ban if its laws allow it, but they don't. ;)

I wonder if El Presidente knew this when he signed that memorandum?
I thought it would be something like that, most regular peoples opinion is that NATO can get involved anywhere where one of its nations gets itself involved in conflict, i'm not too clued up on the legalities of NATO so thats why i added the 'not 100% sure bit' :rolleyes:

If that is true, that is APPAULING :D That is so ridiculous, surely you would have thought that your own laws would allow such a ban to be imposed, i wouldn't be suprised if it was basically explained to the leader just to get it passed through quickly. Dear oh dear :rolleyes:
 
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