‘UK’s boosting of Falklands defense not sensible politics, terrific waste of money’

The Falkland Islands flag (Reuters / Gary Clement)
The UK government should row back its plan to spend millions of pounds to bolster defense in the Falklands as it won’t bring it additional votes in the upcoming election, or win any friends in Argentina, says Chris Nineham of the Stop the War Coalition.

RT:The UK is expected to announce an increase in troops deployed to defend the Falkland Islands due to fears of a possible threat from Argentina. Do you think the concerns are justified at this point? There was a similar situation in 1982, but does the situation somehow differ now in regard to the UK military presence on Falkland Islands?

READ MORE: Falklands/Malvinas: UK sends more troops to islands amid ‘increased threat’ from Argentina

Chris Nineham: I don’t see anything that has changed the situation for the Falkland Islands. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the Argentinean government is planning any action at all. I think this is largely for domestic consumption and aimed at the election, the period of the coming up election in Britain. I definitely don’t think that any money should be spent on increasing the armaments in the Falklands. In fact, I believe the British armed forces should leave the Falkland Islands completely because clearly we have no place there, we have no reason to be there whatsoever. I was against the military intervention in 1982 and I’m against any military intervention there now.

RT:Some experts believe that it might be an effort to gain some voter support before the General election 2015 in the UK. What’s your take on that?

CN: It might well be a kind of faint echo of what Margaret Thatcher did back in 1982 when she mobilized the British expeditionary force to go to the Falklands, largely in an effort to win over sections of the electorate. She was very unpopular at that time and it did lead to her winning the election [then]. So maybe this is some sort of attempt to rerun on the very, very small scale. It is rather pitiful if that’s what it is. It is also, judging by some of the stories that are going the rounds, a part of the general kind of propaganda war against the Russians. These claims that Russia is about to transfer some fighter planes or some bombers to the Argentine government, as well. So this is all part of the propaganda war against Russia at the same time. But it’s all pretty low level stuff, and I mentioned - very ineffective. Most people nowadays think that spending millions of pounds on the Falkland Islands 80,000 miles away from the UK at a time when we’ve been asked to make cuts in our essential services is a terrific waste of money.

RT:Will the growth of British troops help to decrease current tensions between the countries?

CN: I think not. As is the case in most of these diplomatic incidents ramping up military expenditure, ramping up aggressive rhetoric only serves to increase tensions between countries. So I think that promising to spend many more millions of pounds on the Falkland Islands is likely to cause some sort of counter reaction from the Argentinean government. It is really not sensible politics at any level. It is not going to win any votes, it is not going to win us any friends in Argentina, and it is a terrible waste of money. This is something that the government should row back, and row back on fast.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.