Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Cristina's not happy . . .

CRISTINA IS NOT HAPPY. According to the Scotsman,  "Argentina in UN protest at warship in Falklands".

ARGENTINA’S President Cristina Fernandez last night vowed to complain formally to the UN Security Council about Britain sending one of its most modern warships to the Falkland Islands.

Ms Fernandez accused Prime Minister David Cameron of “militarising” their long dispute over the islands in the South Atlantic. She asked him to “give peace a chance”.

Poor Crissy — she just doesn't get it. You see, that's precisely what the UK's PM, David Cameron has done. Give peace a chance, that is. Or maybe Crissy does get it, but it's just not quite what she wanted, which was, "give peace a chance AFTER we invade".

HMS Dauntless has state-of-the-art air-defence missile systems. As long as she stays in the Falklands, the Argies cannot make a move, they just don't have what it takes to attain and keep air superiority. So, in a very real sense, as long as HMS Dauntless is there, peace does have a chance. The UK is not going to attack Argentina, which is almost 300 miles away from the Falklands

Then again, if the Argies get starchy, HMS Dauntless could launch SLAM Harpoons from 100 miles offshore and give the Argie mainland a thrill and an opportunity to re-build infrastructure. So compared to that kind of devastating truculence, a passive presence that encourages a sense of self-control in the Argies is indeed giving peace a chance. It's just not giving the Argies an elective choice in the matter, which is hard on their macho.

Crissy, STFU. First rule of international politics: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Remember what happened to the first government who tried what you wish you could get away with? Do yourself a favor: don't go there. David Cameron did you a gigantic favor — if you have the intelligence to see it. Like Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations" — women, too.


Boris said...

Dave would know better, but I don't think she carries Harpoons (or SLAM ones at that) and her ASW suite is I think heli-borne only. She's an air defence platform developed in response to the serious RN vulnerabilities to air attack shown 30 years ago. As a single vessel with limited anti-surface and anti-submarine capability, she does not alone neuter the Argentinians.

I think the thing to do is look beyond the mouths to what the hands are doing. The UK is not forming a taskforce and has not substantially reinforced its garrison on the islands (although I imagine they are talking about how that might occur). There are no reports of the Argentinian military mobilising anything either and the Brits and their Allies are probably watching that closely. Instead, Kirchner has gone to the UN for propaganda purposes (like the US did over Iraq) and made big noises as well as networking with regional allies.

Right now it is all just really annoying noises, but things could get much more interesting if the Argentinians get substantive (military) support from their regional allies or talk themselves into actually sending out a warship or something. David Cameron wanting show he's got balls, and they're as big as Mag's mightn't help either.

Then again, the UK forces might find their budget cuts reconsidered.

Ed said...

Boris,you are correct -- she does not carry Harpoon.

Moreover, from context, I think the SLAM Harpoon comment was probably trying to indicate TLAM (or Tomahawk, which is a cruise strike missile. Harpoon is an anti ship missile with no land attack variants. Dauntless carries neither.

Dauntless has a limited sonar suite, i.e. hull mounted only. So, you are right that she is vulnerable in that regard. Her only defence for surface attack is the 4.5 inch gun and small calibre machine guns.

Edstock said...

Hey the Wiki said it did carry Harpoons, so maybe it could have had the late-model SLAMS, but anyway, the point is, the vessel is primarily defensive.

It denies the Argies the ability to successfully attack. Thus it keeps them from going to war, and gives peace a chance.

And then there's the British nuclear subs like the one that did up the Ge. Belgrano . . .