But the dispute will remain open as Britain and Argentina are not able to solve it in the current situation.
1. The problem of the Falklands is still an open issue in the UK-Argentina relations from time to time. Could it be settle definitely in some way?
2. Do you see any chance the war of words may escalate to another military conflict?
Kathleen Burk, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, University College London
1. It is difficult to see how it could be settled definitely. Argentina cannot give up her claim because it is too embedded in her politics now; furthermore, it can be useful as a distraction from domestic politics – it was used for precisely this reason by the military junta in 1982. For Great Britain, it went to war to support the claims of the Falklanders to British sovereignty, and this would be difficult to surrender; furthermore, a great deal of money has been spent to built up defences. There is now the third reason, and this is oil: neither would easily give up a claim to oil fields.
2. I cannot see it escalating into a military conflict. First of all, the UK has something of a defensive shield around the Falklands, far beyond what the Argentinians could produce. Secondly, in 1982 the US was torn between supporting Argentina or Britain, and tried for a bit to act as a neutral mediator; the Argentinian junta helped the Americans in fighting communism in Central America, but the UK was a NATO ally. She supported the UK. The Argentinian alliance no longer has the same importance for the US. In any case, the US would support any American oil companies that might be trying to establish a foothold, so the Argentinians would have more than one opponent.
Celia Szusterman, Principal Lecturer (Spanish and Latin American Studies), University of Westminster
1. It will not be settled in the foreseeable future because the positions are too contradictory; Argentina wants bilateral negotiations, with the UK government, without the Falkland islanders. The UK government has said that it will not initiate any negotiations if and until the islanders request it.
Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics, Royal Holloway University of London
1. No. The problem will not be resolved in the near future. But it could be! In the case of the Falkland Islanders, they want to remain British so they would want the Argentines to drop their claim to the islands.
In the case of the Argentines, they want the British to hand over sovereignty and there has been talk before of joint sovereignty. The 1994 Argentine constitution commits every president and his/her government to recovering the Falklands, South Georgia and other islands and the Antarctic.
2. No. This is not like 1981-2. The British have a military base in the Falklands with sophisticated weapons systems. I do not believe the Argentines will attack the islands. What they want to do is to make life awkward for the Falkland Islanders. The Argentines have little to no incentive, at one level, to be co-operative. It only helps the status quo to prevail.
Filed under: Europe, Latin America, Military, Politics, Security, UK politics Tagged: | Argentina, Celia Szusterman, Europe, Falklands, Great Britain, Kathleen Burk, Klaus Dodds, Latin America, UK politics, United Kingdom