Monday, February 27, 2006

Hot Bloodied

The Argentinians have (via Real Clear Politics) apparently forgotten the drubbing they received in 1982 after grabbing the Falklands Islands from the British:

AN INCREASINGLY anxious UK government is closely monitoring a build-up of Argentinian military strength and a series of confrontations with the RAF close to the Falkland Islands, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

The activity has led Tony Blair's most senior advisers to demand he issues a "hands-off" warning to Buenos Aires.

Are the Argentinians serious? The British are hard pressed to maintain a garrison there:

The British military presence in the South Atlantic has dropped from 1,900 troops in 1998 to 1,200 now, while 8,000 troops are deployed in Iraq and 3,000 are heading for Afghanistan. The Falklands garrison is dwarfed by the 20,000-strong British presence in Germany, the 10,000 in Northern Ireland and even 3,400 in Cyprus.

I suggest the British redeploy their 20,000 in Germany. The ingrates there apparently don't need any allies so let them fend for themselves. Will Germany send troops to the South Atlantic for their British ally? Yeah, right.

In college in 1982, when we discussed what the British would do, a number of people in my political science class argued that Britain was doomed to defeat because they did not have a 3:1 ratio of troops to take the islands back. I scoffed and noted accurately that the ratio assumes comparable troops on either side of the conflict and that the superiority of the British troops meant that the Brits would wipe up the Argentinians.

Argentina may have twice the air power of 1982, but should Buenos Aires decide to have another go at the islands, I have no doubt the British will trounce the Argentinians again.

I swear to God, you never can tell when a war will break out over some stupid issue. Remember that when you tell me again how it would make no sense at all for China to invade Taiwan.

UPDATE: I was going to write about this in the context of what the hell is going on in Latin America but dropped the thread. Chile's outgoing president says there is nothing to worry about with leftists leaders coming to power in the region. I agree that leftist governments are no reason to worry in isolation. Free elections are free elections. As long as those continue, the voters can change their minds. But whackjobs like Chavez in power, Aristide pining for his half of the island, and Argentina probing the Falklands don't exactly comfort me.