On February 7 Argentine President Cristina Fernandez accused Britain of militarizing the South Atlantic Ocean by deploying a cutting-edge warship and a nuclear-powered submarine off the coast of the Falklands Islands, known to Argentina and the rest of Latin America as Las Malvinas.
She pledged to seek assistance at the United Nations to remove British military forces from the region, warning that the heightened British military presence risks a potential clash between the two countries.
London recently announced that it was dispatching the HMS Dauntless, a Type 45 destroyer, Britain’s newest and most advanced warship, to the Falklands as well as a Trafalgar class nuclear-powered submarine equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish torpedoes. Another Type 45 destroyer, HMS Daring, was recently deployed to the Persian Gulf where two U.S. aircraft carriers, USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln, and their strike groups are also deployed, with the USS Enterprise carrier strike group to join them.
The British destroyer and submarine will reinforce Typhoon warplanes of the sort used against Libya last year, an air base with radar, a patrol frigate and a garrison of 1,700 soldiers, the latter almost the number of civilian inhabitants of the Falklands.
The deployment of Prince William on a military mission to the islands late last week further antagonized Argentina, with President Fernandez describing the royal scion as being garbed in the “uniform of a conquistador.”
Rick Rozoff contributed to this report.