Saturday, January 21, 2012

Prince William to The Falklands

The British have announced that Prince William will be going to the Falkland Islands as part of a normal squadron rotation. This move comes just days after British Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of colonialism. Argentina has once again been pressuring the Falklands to give up being British and surrender themselves to Argentinian rule. The last time Argentina acted like this, they invaded the islands in 1982, forcing the British to send troops to free the islands from the invaders.

This time around Argentina has gotten several other South American countries to sign a trade agreement refusing to ships flying the flag of the Falklands to enter their harbours, in attempt to coerce the islands into giving up their self determination. Argentina is after possible oil and natural gas, that may lie off shore, inside the island's territory. Argentinians have been protesting in front of the British Embassy in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, burning Union Jacks.

Sending Prince William is a huge move by the British, making a clear statement on how important they consider this situation, and that they will not abandon the Falkland Islands to face the Argentinian belligerence alone.

William, the Duke of Cambridge, grandson to Queen Elizabeth II, is expected by many to be the next king of England. His father, Charles, may still take rule after the Queen, but not likely for long considering his age. William works in search and rescue missions for the Royal Air Force.

US Carrier Prepares to Enter Gulf, China Joins Against Iran

The USS Abraham Lincoln has joined the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea. Within the next couple weeks one of the carriers will make the move through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian gulf. Pretty standard, as the United States normally does maintain one carrier in each body of water. But this time the threat situation is different.

In December, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz. A sixth of all western oil flows through there, so such a move would have huge economic repercussions. Iran made the threat after President Obama and other world leaders promised new sanctions on the country for it's continued nuclear program. The Iranian government followed that threat with another one, stating that no US carriers would be allowed to enter the Persian Gulf.

The situation has been worse, after an Iranian scientist was assassinated in Tehran. Iran was quick to blame Israel, the US, and the United Kingdom for the attack, even claiming they have proof of the CIA and MI6's involvement. Russia entered the fray with a very bold statement that, "any attack on Tehran is an attack on Moscow"; and that they will defend Iran from "western aggression". The response from the United States Navy has been to continue normal functions, though on higher alert, and to rescue three groups of Iranian fishermen from pirates and their own sinking ships.

Now enter China, Iran's long time ally. "China adamantly opposes Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons," Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, was quoted as saying. China followed this statement by cutting their oil imports from Iran, by half. A huge number considering how much oil China has been taking in. The premier continued to say, "Some people said my visit was to secure oil, which is narrow-minded. I came here for friendship." Interestingly enough China has apparently decided that world opinion matters more than defending a single country.

So now we must wait and see when the United States carrier goes into the Strait, what will Iran do? Will they go through with their threats, and hope Russia will really save them? Or will they just simply back down, realizing that such stupidity would truly not be worth it. Expect Russia to make the first response, either by reinforcing their statements or by backing down on them now that China won't be joining them.