Argentina Prepares to Go to War Against Britain or Argentines



Argentina is preparing for a war either against Britain or Argentines. No one is sure as the country acquires military hardware that includes, jet fighters, anti-aircraft guns and specialized radar. The news came late Saturday night, just a few months before oil drilling begins in the Falkland Islands area.

Besieged by runaway inflation, corruption and inefficiency in government as well as being impotent to stop rampant crime, Argentina’s failing President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, seems to be taking a page from history’s playbook. In January she created a new cabinet position, Secretary for the Malvinas, Argentina’s name for the Falklands.

Kirchner has set aside $750 million, a 33 percent rise, for over 30 military modernization programs. In addition to the aircraft and anti-aircraft weaponry, Kirchner is also using some of the set aside to buy medium tanks, transport aircraft as well as rocket systems, helicopters and the development of drones. Casa Rosada, “The Pink House,” announced that new commando and special forces units will also be formed.

The military hardware is in addition to 20 French Mirage fighters which Argentina bought from Spain in August 2013. The fighters, along with the new shopping list, will give the Argentina president the ability to strike Port Stanley in the Falklands with pin point accuracy.

Sources with Rockhopper Exploration, a British firm, have confirmed reports that drilling may begin very soon. The Sea Lion field in the Falklands is believed to have an oil reserve of 390 million barrels.

Kirchner’s administration has sent several hundred letters to Britain firms promising fines of up to $1.5 billion and 15-year-jail terms if drilling happens without Argentina’s consent. While the intimidation has no standing in international law, they are widely seen as examples of the efforts the president will expend in order to boost flagging domestic support.

Admiral Lord West, commanded the HMS Ardent and was at the helm when it was sunk during the Falklands War. West said a major increase in expenditure by Argentina must be looked upon with concern. Britain will not have any aircraft carriers operational until 2020. The six-year window presents plenty of opportunity for Argentina to act.

While many observers feel the military build up is in anticipation of another attack on the Falklands, others aren’t so sure. As unrest at home grows, Kirchner has announced that she stands in solidarity with the embattled Nicolas Maduro, President of riot torn Venezuela. In various pronouncements, Kirchner has already declared that she will do whatever is necessary to keep the violence from coming to Argentina.

Military Presence to be Used Against Argentines?

In Buenos Aires lately, another theory is shaping up in the coffee houses. The military buildup is to be used to keep the Argentines in line as the violence in Venezuela continues to threaten expansion.

David Gambarin, 90, still puts on a suit and goes to his office in downtown Buenos Aires. A real-estate broker, Gambarin says that the country has always had instability. “This is how we Argentines are,” he says.

A little over a decade after the last crash in 2001, Argentina is on the edge of melting down again. The peso fell in value by 23 percent in January and economists are saying that inflation and recession will follow. Kirchner is restricting access to dollars and is threatening shopkeepers with foreclosure.

Like most people here, Gambarin is resigned about the tumult. An immigrant from Russia, Gambarin was a boy when he got to Argentina and has lived through five coups. Gambarin remembers that in the 1980s, inflation rates rose so quickly that shoppers literally ran to the checkout lines to pay for their purchase before the items were marked up again.

Economists classify Argentina as an “emerging market,” but the country’s economy has been on the slide for 100 years. In 1910, Argentina was among the world’s 10 wealthiest countries, today its per capita income is not even half that of the US.

While people discuss the reason behind the military buildup, there is not any debate about the cause of Argentina’s problems. “Bad government,” says economist Marina Dal Poggetto. For decades, Argentina’s leaders have spent wildly during the good years and forgot to save for the bad ones. To keep the good times rolling, the government has borrowed heavily or just turned to the printing press to turn out more money.

The wall behind Dal Poggeto’s desk is filled with picture frames containing rows of Argentine currencies which have been used and discarded in faulty economic plans. Argentina has lopped off 13 zeroes from its bank notes since 1969. In 1991, the 10,000 austral note was replaced by the one peso note which was worth $1 (USD). Today, that same one peso note is worth 9 cents.

For the poorest of Argentines, crises mean calamity. With no access to American dollars, the poor watch as inflation eliminates the purchasing power of their salaries putting them in a position where they cannot buy food. Mobs in the thousands looted supermarkets throughout Argentina in the crises of 1989 and 2001.

Economists say that in the best case, inflation in Argentina will head to 35 percent to 40 percent and the economy will stagnate. The worst case scenario is too difficult for them to put into words.

Whether the buildup in Argentina is in anticipation of new drilling in the Falklands or preparation for violent protests, a look at Argentine history reveals something unsettling. South America’s second largest country is destined to experience a meltdown about once per decade. There isn’t much anyone can do about it.

Gambarin says he already knows what will happen. “Nothing. Nothing will happen,” he said. “We are used to this. Every few years things get wiped out. Someone else will come along promising to fix Argentina. But everything will remain the same.”

By Jerry Nelson

Wall Street Journal

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55 thoughts on “Argentina Prepares to Go to War Against Britain or Argentines

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  4. There is no war coming, we have no chance against uk ,it’s senseless, but you said a couple of true things, our president is incompetent

  5. Argentina’s 2012 military budget was a mere USD$4 million — not even enough to keep up with the rust. That was just 0.8 percent of the Argentine GNP. For comparison, neighbouring Brazil spent over USD$33 million for 2012.

    Let’s consider what Janes Defence Weekly said less than a year ago about Argentine readiness. And bear in mind that a mere infusion of funding does not overcome years of neglect. Even in the best of funding and policy support from the executive branch (which is currently lacking) the Argentine armed forces would take 4-6 years to recover any significant degree of operational readiness. At the moment, for all practical purposes, Argentina has no really functional “Air Force.” Janes, 2013:

    ” Only 17% of the Argentine Air Force (FAA) is in operational condition due to a chronic lack of funding, according to a legislative study presented by left-wing congressmen to the local media on 10 March. The report indicates that the FAA’s fighter fleet has been reduced to 7 Lockheed Martin A-4AR Fighting Hawks and 14 Mirage-series fighters.
    Sources told IHS Jane’s that there are between 12 and 14 operational A-4ARs, and between 6 and 7 operational Mirages. However, operational in many cases refers only to the fact that they can fly, and not all the systems are necessarily fully functional.”

  6. you’re kidding? 20 old mirages that do not even serve to train? against old mercenaries? it’s a joke… even Chile buy F14-Tomcat & F18-hornet to the US. You think that 20 mirages can do something??? don’t joke us…

    1. Thanks for being a reader. It’s amazing how accurate the piece is when research is done online.

      1. “research is done online” — what rubbish. That is like basing policy decisions on rumour and wikipedia. What is needed is some ground truthing beyond the portion of the article that is plagiarised. Argentina’s present condition, whether economically or militarily or socially, could not reasonably support a war of aggression with anyone. The Argentina of 2014 is not the Argentina of 1974.

  7. Just a small point. You don’t prefix HMS with “the”. The Her Majesty’s Ship Ardent doesn’t make sense.

  8. Lies, all lies are Jerry. Argentina never be ready for a war. Especially in the 21st century, which is useless war against British pirates.Tu eres parte del club bilderberg, lavador de cerebros.

  9. If the butcher had got going on the Islands God knows what would have happened to the people especially the young women

  10. If she has to deal with her own people the Butcher of Buonos Airies will be first one to step up (

  11. Don’t worry, Jerry. One of the most common practices of the Kirchner administration is to pay useless people to say the opposite than everyone that criticises them.
    If your article was about the abandonment of our armed forces, these people would be raging mad trying to tell you about all the things you say in this piece.
    I, a sad guy from Argentina, that sees us in the same path as Venezuela took, thank you for your part in showing the world that the 21st century’s latinamerican socialism is rubbish.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and also thanks for being a reader Juan! I agree with what you are saying!

  12. Great article! Jerry, great! I loved it!
    I will say one thing, The Falklands always were there before the British Government were interested in them and Argentina never, never didn’t care about the islands! The Falklands are British by many reasons, but most important never an Argentine said ‘I will live there” before the British Government established there!
    Argentina is in crisis, always was the same, but now with this government is worse and I can’t understand how smart or not smart people can’t SEE!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Ale! I agree, sometimes people have a hard time seeing what they don’t want to see.

      1. Oh, don’t worry, we the smart/no-so-smart people see pretty much that this government is horrible. But what do you do when you realise your government is not what you though? ( not my case, I’ve never voted any Kirchner) What you british or french or spanish do? Overthrow the government?

        That’s not what you should do. Sadly, whole countries have different times of those of the individuals. We must endure this for two more years and hopefully make better decisions next time, based on what we could learn (or not) from our situations.

  13. There’s a third option here. My dear Argentina has been subject of a rise in drugs traffic, and our borders are less than swiss cheese with all the holes. It’s been some time that we were debating about the “plane shoot down legislation” here, but lets be honest: Without radars and without planes, we have NO chance to shoot down ANYTHING.

    I know that after 1982, convincing a British that the smallest gun we buy it’s not to point it towards Malvinas it’s difficult, but believe us, the common people, that we could NEVER allow our governments to go after a Malvinas War again. We don’t want it, we don’t need it, and basically, It’s not our nature. It was Videla’s.

  14. Hey Brits. Our people do not want war with you. We do not want war with anyone. Because we do not have the military industry as you. War is expensive and not necessary. Come to Argentina and take some beers with us: D
    A Malvinas veteran Argies

        1. I have much respect and sympathy for the Argentine people who have been let down by successive governments who sabre rattle when their policies fail. Argentina has so much to offer in terms of culture and trade, it just needs a leadership that the country deserves. I would join you for that beer any day my friend!

  15. como puede escribirse semejante basura y que la gente se lo crea, los invito a visitar la Argentina y ver lo que realmente pasa en lugar de repetir sin fundamentos lo que los medios basura y hegemonicos escriben aca!!!

  16. hahaha, what happened with my other comment? I don´t see it here. Come on!!!, is because we achieved our objetive in 1982 in MALVINAS?
    (means occupy the territory in 1982, because if we didn´t do that, the possibilities of continuing the diplomatic clain would finished, by a law, a protocole or something that exists for these cases. So occupy the island in 1982 gave us 100 or 150 years more to continuing the diplomatic claim.)

    but come on!!!!!!!! before and after that uk and the rest the first world were accomplices and participants in our pathetic story of decline, so well, UK and their allies will always have reason in this beauuuuuutiful world, even when “you don´t have it”. All knows how this is.
    Some come on don´t censor my first comment!!! LOL

    1. Some would say, Mariana, that the only purpose of going into the Malvinas (aka Falklands) in 1983 was to distract the Argentine population from the devastating corruption and inefficiency of the government. Your thoughts?

      1. And some would say Jerry that this was a fabulous opportunity for Margaret Thatcher that was in a bad moment too.

        1. I won’t disagree Mariana. The Falklands/Malvinas fiasco helped solidify Thatcher’s stature as “The Iron Lady”

  17. In current times we only can go to a war with a spoon LOL so if you wanna justify Uk´s theft, write something more convincing, please!!!

      1. Well I don´t see my answers here made minutes ago, if I will see it I will continue the talk, but if I don´t, have not sense continue.

  18. Thanks for being a reader cynical. Even though you disagree with everything I write, everytime you read, it puts food on my table. I appreciate you and thanks for being a reader!

  19. What an utter piece of crap this article is, is Mr Nelson aware of the current status of the Argentine armed forces? They’ve been underfunded for years and the government is just planning to boost the defence budget to its old standards.. Jesus

    1. Yes, I’m very aware. A “boost” by CFK of the military to its “old” standards puts it right back on the footing from which Argentina attacked the Falklands once before.

      1. I don’t agree with that. Military technology differences between Argentina and the UK are huge now, much more than in the 80’s. There is no way our country can go back to the situation we had in 1982, at least, not with our budget and current friends.

        I’m affraid your second hypothesis is the right one: our government is preparing to fight against its own people.

        There is one more thing you should not forget: Argentinian politicians do NOTHING unless they can get a personal benefit with it. So, if they buy Spanish old Mirage Fighters, or other stuff, is because they are getting a bribe, overpricing the budget or something like that. They don’t care if the planes are useful or not. It’s the same with trains, medical equipement, etc.

  20. One of the silliest article titles I have seen for months. The writer should be ashamed of preparing such rubbish.

    For one thing, the Argentine military’s present state of readiness is appalling. It has been deliberately under-funded for many years by the Kirchner administration, and it will take years for any near term investment to bring about any sort of consequential broad-based re-trained and re-equipped Argentine military capability.

    1. Au contraire! The CFK administration has been rebuilding the military. Why do you think the Spanish fighter purchase in 2013? By the way, have you been by the gendarme facility on Santa Fe in the past few weeks? If not, then a stroll by the gates should be revealing. Thanks for being a reader!

      1. Interesting reading. I have some comments though:

        Jerry, do you really believe that one single year of growing military expenses (if any) actually makes up for decades of under-funding and desarticulation?? Did you know that the Gerndarmes are strictly a Border Patrol and Internal Security Task Force, with neither real nor legal capability to go abroad and face anyone??

        Do you really believe that the Argentina army (if you can call it an army) actually represent any threat to the British power. Do youreally believe that Argentina can stand up to a country that for centuries has master the arts of war, invasion, looting and piracy.

        What is your purpose with this article? As a jourtnalist, don’t you have a commitment with the truth? Why don’t you honnor it??

        Have you ever noticed that the Malvinas Islands are 14.000 kms away from GB, but only 300 kms away from Argenitne Soil, and on our continental platform, and therefore, and according to all marine agreement they should belong to Argentina, and that the brits there are nothing but invaders??

        Yes, we have a really corrupt goverment. Our sociaty moral standards and way lower that the acceptable paramenters. The country is again facing a new economic crisis, and we do not see an easy way out of it. We´ve make mistakes when choosing our representatives, and we will probably repeat this mistake in the years to come. But believe me, no one would ever support and allow that particular mistake to be repeated, because, unlike you, we are not a “WE GO TO WAR NATION”

          1. “Have you ever noticed that the Malvinas Islands are 14.000 kms away from GB, but only 300 kms away from Argentine Soil, and on our continental platform, and therefore, and according to all marine agreement they should belong to Argentina”

            So chilli, uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil etc etc are all on the same continental platform, Should they belong to Argentina also?

            Remind me when Argentina was formed, when you actually became a country and therefore had your borders recognised by the world and your neighbours……. while you’re at it, check up when Britain first settled on the Falklands…And to call us invaders, are you not a former colony of the Spanish Empire? descendants of “invaders”?

            And to call us a “We go to war nation” is quite accurate. We have fought a lot of wars. So to have you. From your revolution against spain to wars against Uruguay, Brazil and France. Your nation has barely gone 40 years without being in a major conflict…

            Heres one to ponder – Alaska is separated from the continental United States, directly attached to Canada but was sold by Russia. You don’t hear Canada throwing their dummy in the corner because they missed out on all that Alaskan gold do you?

            And finally. Remember that it was your country that invaded the Falklands, your country that went to war for Oil and greed (it’s OK we’ve all done it 🙂 ), your country that decided the inhabitants of the falklands, whom can trace their heritage back further than the May Revolution, should have no say in their future and you who paid the price in defeat…

  21. You should stick to writing (or plagerising) articles about Justin Bieber. What utter sensationalist crap.

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