Scholar on Argentina's Drills: Unclear Whether They're Linked to Falklands

© AP Photo / Natacha PisarenkoA child plays at the Malvinas Falklands war Memorial in Ushuaia, Argentina, Sunday, April 1, 2012
A child plays at the Malvinas Falklands war Memorial in Ushuaia, Argentina, Sunday, April 1, 2012 - Sputnik International
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A British general has warned Argentina could strike against the Falklands. This comes amid drills by Argentina reportedly aimed at gaining leverage over the ownership of the islands. Sputnik spoke with Dr. Alasdair Pinkerton, political geographer at the Royal Holloway University of London about the military exercises and the future of the islands.

Sputnik: These military drills, do you think these have any merit or is this just a show?

Dr. Alasdair Pinkerton: I don’t think it’s entirely clear what these drills are, whether they’ve been directly linked to the Falklands at all. The way the story has come out is rather strange, an Argentine military officer apparently talking to a Brazilian military attache who then spoke to someone in the UK. It’s a fairly interesting thing of he said she said, I think we have to be cautious first of all whether we think what happened, happened at all, if it did happen then it is very normal part of how military for geopolitical challenges that particular countries face.

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Sputnik: What do you make of the warning that Argentina could take action if Jeremy Corbyn became PM?

Dr. Alasdair Pinkerton: I saw this comment and I think what Julian Thompson is doing is identifying potential risks to future sovereignty of the Falkland Islands. I don’t know if Jeremy Corbyn has directly spoken of his attitude towards British sovereignty over the Falklands. Perhaps what Thompson is doing is reminding himself and the wider British public of it. For example, Tony Benn during 1982 certainly was speaking very passionately about that we should not be fighting for flags today, which is his famous phrase and as a follower of Tony Benn in many ways, perhaps he feels Jeremy Corbyn would necessarily choose to defend the Falklands in the event of another re-invasion. I think that is where he is coming from or at least I'd like to think so rather than trying to promote to Argentina they have a fertile opportunity to reclaim the islands if Jeremy Corbyn were to be prime minister.

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Sputnik: What impact could these staged military exercises have on international relations?

Dr. Alasdair Pinkerton: What we have to remember is military exercises happen all the time, whether we pay attention to them or not. Britain frequently trains for all kinds of eventualities, Canada prepares for potential conflict in the high north. Every country does this kind of thing on a greater or smaller scale; we have to see it as an everyday military practice. Clearly that if a scenario that got used did relate to the Falklands then maybe one or two eyebrows maybe raised in Whitehall in London and certainly in the Ministry of Defense about that. But we have to set it in context. Since coming to power, Macri in Argentina, has not adopted the same hard line policies as Cristina Kirchner, his predecessor. This has to be seen in the context of far improved Anglo-Argentine relations.

The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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