Am I alone in thinking this kind of carrier obsessed myopic nonsense makes things more difficult to manage the situation, avoid escalation and generally keep the lid on things?


Remember, our strategy is built on three legs

1. Diplomacy

2. Deterrence

3. Defence

If all those three fail it would require an effort to retake but should we be planning for failure or actually reinforcing those legs?

Of course, with the decision on carrier strike aircraft it should come as no surprise that the volume of this kind of thing increases in an attempt to make sure those damned nuisance politicians make the right decision.

Every time there is a significant decision point on the Royal Navy and aircraft carriers expect an article like the above.

It has become so transparent it is a wonder anyone actually falls for it anymore.

Just to provide a supporting backdrop there is always stuff like this to cheer everyone up as well, at least I had a little guilty chuckle :)


Click the link to see from whence it came :)

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April 12, 2012 6:06 pm

Is that from; Become a Staff Officer for Dummies?

April 12, 2012 6:20 pm

Its sharky wondered what was up with that chart. To much rum me thinks

Would you by chance consider the a330 a logistics a/c.

April 12, 2012 6:23 pm

who came up with that chart?

additionally i remember when this talk about the Argies retaking the Falklands first came up i was laughed off the stage. now we have people talking about properly planning for or managing the issue before a war starts.


April 12, 2012 6:27 pm

@ Mark
‘Would you by chance consider the a330 a logistics a/c.’

Was that for me to answer?

April 12, 2012 6:30 pm

Topman no more a question for sharky if you wish to waste several minutes of you life and click on the table you see what i mean

April 12, 2012 6:32 pm

Ah right, no thanks I can imagine the stuff on there.

Stephen C
Stephen C
April 12, 2012 6:48 pm

I do love the scenario of the Argentinians landing 200 troops in a civilian air liner to “suprise” the garrison.

Are they just blindly assuming that we wouldn’t put a machine gun sight on every door of the aeroplane before they climb out of it?

April 12, 2012 8:09 pm

Interesting that Gen Thompson raises this now – there may be some “political” push behind it from senior Admiralty types with an agenda – or there may not. Gen Thompson is very probably his own man.

I’m not sure that the 200 from an airliner is the least risky option for Carlos Fandango – I’d go for SF and stealth to deny the ability of Typhoon to take off, but we’ve done that to death in several previous threads.

How could you get 200 from an airliner into MPA and achieve surprise? Not easy, but presumably with a replica jet of the LAN Chile Boeing, arriving as expected on the weekly flight and behaving perfectly normally. The real flight having been forced down while over Argentina and the crew and passengers held incommunicado at some rural air force base.

200 heavily armed soldiers arriving unexpectedly at MPA are going to have a tough fight on their hands, but will probably outnumber any local defence, and to be honest, how many of the MPA garrison routinely walk around with loaded weapons and are prepared to repel surprise attacks from their desks or repair bays? I have not been there for 10 years, but 10 years ago, the answer was “very few”.

I am NOT advocating the 200 as the most viable option, BTW. But if the retired Maj Gen who did most to win the islands back sees half a chance in it, we internet warriors might just stop and think.

Brian Black
Brian Black
April 12, 2012 9:07 pm

Didn’t we invade Iraq nine years ago to prevent al-Hussein missiles raining down on the SBAs? I mean, not deploy missile defence or anything like that, but actually invade Iraq in order to stop an Iraqi attack.

If Argentina is scheduled to invade the Falklands next year, shouldn’t we be getting the first strikes in?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
April 12, 2012 9:16 pm

SOP for the arrival of the LAN Chile flight is that the base goes on alert and outside movement stops. The Flight is covered as it lands and whilst passengers disembark.

John Hartley
John Hartley
April 12, 2012 10:06 pm

Argentina could not mount a text book invasion with all the latest toys. It could mount an ad hoc, bodged invasion with whatever came to hand. Sadly, we are so weak & complacent, that Argentina might get away with it.

April 13, 2012 3:08 am

If I was an Argie….I’d never admit to it.

Beyond that, If you wanted to attack and hold on to the islands they would have to drop a couple tens of millions on missiles for a start and that is probably the cheapest option.

I think that would be the only way they could have a chance, attack the garrisons with a mixture of ballistic and cruise missiles.
If by some miracle they ‘pacified’ the entire garrison and hadn’t damaged the runways then they might possibly be able to land about 1000 troops minus any large pieces of kit over the course of a day if they used their entire airforce’s transport capacity and the presidential fleet.

Now, to hold out they would need to buy a fleet of new mobile air defence systems and (as things stand with the current RAF/FAA situation) a new squadron of relatively modern fighter jets- let’s say 15 J-11’s, they could get away with that.

Lets say bare minimum it costs them £300 million not counting some of the ground and sea operations they would need to maintain a long term hold on the islands.

Not impossible but still very, very unlikely.

April 13, 2012 7:58 am

An armed invasion is unlikely at best, I agree. How about a “token” peaceful incursion though? If I was a ruthless Argentine leader, I would ask for thousands of civilian volunteers to board hundreds of small ships in a “peace” flotilla to the islands.

The RN does not have the capability to stop so many ships, so a high proportion would be able to land. On the FI they could setup “peace” camps and protest against “colonial” injustice. Perhaps plant a few SF with small arms to provoke an over reaction from the soldiers and FI police… I think we can all imagine how it would play out next…

April 13, 2012 9:14 am

Meanwhile back on planet earth.

Argentina just ‘invests’ in the Falklands. Its business, and its farms, Argentinian ‘companies apply for fishing licences, mineral surveying rights, etc etc. Argentinians start to, move to the islands, and in 50 years or so they all vote for change of sovereignty.

Not sexy no daring do with ‘special forces’ and ‘hijackers’ aircraft etc. Just some cash and patience.

The Oncoming Storm
The Oncoming Storm
April 13, 2012 9:46 am

Yes that’s what any sane and rational people would do but Argentina is so hung up on the myth that the Falklands were stolen from them by “pirates” that they won’t do anything that legitimises the British presence.

April 13, 2012 10:32 am

That is actually the most realistic threat. Argentina don’t have the capability or will to launch a military attempt on the Islands. Even if they could launch a 200-style attack in an airliner, the risk of failure is too great. And Kirchner has condemned the use of force as per the junta’s attempt in 1982. Rather, it is clear that what she intends is to keep ratcheting up the media war, not the all out war.

The most likely threat is that Argentina will orchestrate the landing of aircraft full of civilians at Mount Pleasant and or send a flotilla of boats crammed with civilians to the islands. Cue scenens of Argentine protesters chaining themselves to railings and putting daisies down squaddies’ SA80 barrels. That sort of thing.

Argentina can’t take the islands that way, but they can create such bad publicity that a weak-willed British government, under pressure from loud-mouths abroad and bien pensants writing Guardian columns, begins making concessions.

A media operation tackling this sort of thing is hopefully in existence somewhere at Northwood?

An airliner full of peace protesters landing at Mount Pleasant is the quickest and most likely course. It can’t be shot down on its approach as they’ll be transmitting – not only to Mount Pleasant, but live-transmitting on the internet or whatever – that they are civvies and come in peace. Can you imagine the world’s horror if, under these conditions, they were shot down live on YouTube?

Instead, they should be allowed to land, but instructed to taxi to a corner of the airbase that is pre-prepared for this eventuality and fenced off from the rest of the place or can be fenced off quickly with riot-control wire. In that area, there should be nice, comfortable accomodation pre-prepared and British TV cameras should already be there, filming everything and making it clear how well the protestors are being treated and that there is no provocation from the British side. Then, on the next flight in from Ascension they should send a horde of inquisitive British journalists to interview the protestors and expose their agenda. If there is no chance for them to cause a scene and the place is flooded with Channel 4 cameras, it’ll be clear to everyone that this is just a stunt.

Ace Rimmer
April 13, 2012 11:05 am

I’d go one further and have a large marquee with tables of jam and scones, invite them to game of cricket and after a sound beating send them back. It may change the point of view of the protesters and undernine the intensions of their government.

April 13, 2012 12:17 pm

don’t dis Sharkey completely he’s right that the Super Hornet would be better than the F35C simply because of the price and that it works. Everything else was very amusing though.

April 13, 2012 12:47 pm

Is it me or …

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

A media game where journalists are given funny things to do by their editors when they cannot find anything more useful to write about.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Future

An ageing general/admiral/wing commander’s game where they are given an opportunity to say how vitally important they are to be kept in service instead of being put out to pasture.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t an Economic Policy

Where a President try’s to give her public something else to think about whilst she finds a way of securing a comfortable and safe retirement somewhere else.

April 13, 2012 2:44 pm

Well, transparent or not, I would suppose that he is doing his best as he sees it. I’m afraid that he’s too easy a target to criticise. Very hard to change if you have given many years to a Service.

April 13, 2012 2:55 pm

La Presidenta is really going off the reservation with this one:

Let’s see, you run a Latin country which is struggling (to put it mildly) to raise finance on the international markets, you are turning up the gas on the anti-British rhetoric, and now you want to nationalise the assets of your only likely European ally….

I particularly like the bit at the end where Hilary Clinton called for psychiatric reports.

On a serious note, despite every mature and balanced assessment that militarily they could not do it, it may be foolish to completely discount the possibility that Argentina is being run by a nutter, and who knows what nutters might think they can do?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
April 13, 2012 3:15 pm

James. Agree, we may be in danger of transferring our own rational thoughts on capabilities, risk vs reward and Political fall out to someone who is simply not rational.

Ace Rimmer
April 13, 2012 8:35 pm

APATS, politics doesn’t always equal rationality.

What we shouldn’t do is get dragged into the pseudo-xenphobic political hype. This is usually the case when discussing the politics of Iran and North Korea. Politicians, especially right wing types, tend to use words like mad, lunatic, crazy, which in itself irrational. These politicians, including Mrs Fernandez-Kirchner, are very intelligent, well educated, urbane and incredibly shrewd. They wouldn’t last five minutes if they weren’t.

All she is really doing is playing the odds, as Penny above so eloquently put it, the lack of economic policy and stimulus needs a distraction.

April 14, 2012 12:33 am

An interesting post that TD might consider is a “fantasy fleet” stylee “What would the UK’s military and military posture ideally look like if The Islands That Shall Not (but always seem to be) Mentioned did not exist”, (or if the problem did not exist).
Not for a moment do I think that the “problem” is going to “disappear”, (I suspect that if Think Defence is still running there might be discussion about basing Angel Interceptors there in fifty years time), but it would be interesting to see how much TITSNBN have affected the whole structure and posture of the forces.
Whilst no one (Morrisey aside) in the UK or on the Islands is going to give them up I imagine that in some dark places, some dark thoughts, about what could be creep into finance and staff officers heads.

Just a thought.

April 14, 2012 8:54 am

I, for one, am hoping IXION isn’t an Argentinian.

His plan has an extremely high chance of success. Refer to the recent Australian referandum if they wanted to still have Her Majesty as titular head of state.

Re: Peace protesters to the *BEEP* Islands, yes, it’s newsworthy, but frankly, it’s more likely to turn the residents even more against them.

OTOH, it IS more likely than economic invasion, especially when you consider the main purpose is to cause a spectacle for distraction from the state of affairs within Argentina.

Ace Rimmer
April 15, 2012 5:34 pm

Observer, any mob greeted with hostility will be a godsend to the Malavinas cause, greet them with open arms Ghandi style. Just make sure its on one of the beaches the Argentine forces mined and subsequently cleared by the UK. We can play them at their own game, just make sure military force is out of the equation, albeit ready to use ‘just in case.’

Cameron, being an ex-PR consultant should be a dab hand at this.

One thought I did have was to bring one of their journalists or politicians across and let them live with the Islanders for a few weeks/months and see if they come away with a different point of view.

April 16, 2012 10:56 am

One thought I did have was to bring one of their journalists or politicians across and let them live with the Islanders for a few weeks/months and see if they come away with a different point of view.

We really ought to be doing everything possible to support the people who signed that manifesto in the Argentine press a couple of months ago (making the point that nobody on the islands wants to know and nobody in Argentina has ever done anything to convince them).

Of course it needs careful handling as they could be attacked as being in the pay of the perfidious British pirates.

Airliner full of peace protestors: who cares? We don’t have any objection to Argentine citizens visiting the islands, and the FI Government has been trying to get them to permit a direct air link since dad was a lad. One of the things neither side want to say is that way back when, *nobody cared* and the islands and Argentina were essentially part of the same regional culture and economy. ISTR the WW2 era version of the FIDF were named after their favourite dance-hall in Buenos Aires, and you only need to look at the map to see that there are a lot of Spanish place names.

Peaceful coexistence is possible, we know because it happened.