Thursday, April 22, 2004

Myopic generals

The short sightedness of our military sometimes staggers me.

Yesterday the Independent reported that the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Michael Walker, said that "we would not see ourselves engaging in an inter-state conflict on our own."

Don't they remember the Falklands? When Ronnie Reagan, Maggie's close friend, tried to derail the British road to war?

And what about this recent statement by Bill Rammell, a Foreign Office minister at the end of March:

"On 15 and 16 March 2004 the Argentine naval Icebreaker, Almirante Irizar sailed through the Falklands outer conservation zone and the Falklands interim conservation zone. These are areas for which the Falkland Islands Government issues fishing licences. During the time that it was inside these zones, the Argentine vessel was challenging other vessels to identify themselves. While transit of the conservation zones is permissible, the policing of the zones by a foreign vessel contravenes the Falkland Islands exclusive jurisdiction.

"We asked the Argentine Government for an explanation of the vessel's actions. Their response was not satisfactory. We have therefore made a formal protest to the Argentine Government concerning the actions of the Almirante Irizar, underlining the need to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again. This note also reiterated that HMG has no doubts about UK sovereignty over the Falkland Islands."

Do our generals really think the Americans would join us on a shooting exercise in the South Atlantic? Although war should always be the last option, it does seem a little misguided to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to military planning.

What do you think? Let me know.

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