Anyone would think there is an election on with news of escalating tensions in the South Atlantic.
In what seems more like a squabble over money and resources than territory the Argentine authorities have declared that any shipping that wishes to travel between Argentina and the Falkland Islands (including South Sandwich and South Georgia) must seek permission.
This is a gradual upping of the general tempo around an issue which has never been fully resolved, i.e. Argentina continues to refuse accept that the Falklands are the Falklands and not the Malvinas.
A Type 42 destroyer, HMS York, which was launched a week after the surrender of the Argentine forces on the Falklands in 1982 is already in the area and has been for a while, not sailing south as reported by the tabloids.
One has to wonder if the decision last year to replace the Type 23 Frigate HMS Northumberland with RFA Largs Bay to allow the frigate to join the anti piracy task force off the coast of Somalia emboldened Argentina by showing just how numerically challenged the Royal Navy has become.
It is likely that this will fizzle out and the presence of a sizeable garrison, the existing RN vessels in the area, 4 Typhoons and a 10,000 foot runway at RAF Mount Pleasant have served their deterrent purpose.
There may even be a Tomahawk armed SSN in the area, there may not be though, which is exactly the point of submarines. They could be sitting a few miles of the coast and no one would know about it.
There is more combat experience in an average UK infantry platoon than there is the Argentine Army (Ejército Argentino) and what have the UK armed forces and Falkland Islands Defence Force have been doing for the last 30 odd years; that would be preparing for another invasion then!
Much better to win the fight by not fighting than having to fight to regain the islands
We should not be over confident though because over confidence leads to complacency.
Expect to see a mention of this in the First Sea Lord’s speech at the IISS next week as the Falklands are used to justify CVF and JCA and no doubt the RAF will be talking up the Typhoon, which will of course have saved the day!
Why let risks, security and real issues get in the way of justifying ones major programmes