Argentina Defense and Security

Come out of the war humiliated for the Falkland Islands / Malvinas of 1982 and put to the index by the majority of public opinion for the massive use of state terrorism, the Argentine armed forces have tried, in the last twenty years, to recover the lost prestige. With this in mind, by the will of successive constitutional governments, they have increasingly taken part in international missions now of a military nature (as in the case of the patrolling of the Persian / Arabian Gulf during the 1990 Iraq war), now, above all, humanitarian (for example in the peacekeepers sent by the United Nations to the former Yugoslavia, Central America and other crisis areas). At the same time, the Argentine security apparatus had to give up the enormous corporate weight and large budget slices it had benefited from in the past. The fact that Argentina has cooperative relations with neighboring countries, especially Brazil and Chile, has largely eliminated potential threats to national security and has led to a downsizing of the Castro institutions. For these reasons, while providing for a plan for a gradual increase in spending, mostly aimed at modernizing military technologies, in recent years Argentina has not kept pace in the arms race that has taken place in much of South America. part, from the point of view of security, is represented by the fight against terrorism and the question of the Falklands / Malvinas. For Argentina defense and foreign policy, please check

As for terrorism, Argentina is the only Latin American country to have been seriously affected when, in the first half of the 1990s, two attacks on as many Jewish institutions in Buenos Aires resulted in numerous victims. The Argentine governments and courts have identified Hezbollah and the Iranian regime as the perpetrators of the attacks but have failed to obtain the hoped-for international collaboration, nor that of the terrorists’ countries of origin. This factor is partly responsible for the concern for support for Islamist terrorist movements, sometimes found among the population of Middle Eastern origin residing on the border with Paraguay and Brazil, the so-called ‘Triple frontera’, where cells of Hamas and Hezbollah are present.

On the other hand, as regards the age-old question of the Falkland / Malvinas Islands, the reopening of diplomatic relations in 1990 did not dispel tensions with the United Kingdom. The recurring disputes over the economic exploitation of their territorial sea contribute to exacerbate them cyclically, in addition to the knot of sovereignty over the islands, on which the British do not compromise. In addition to the abundant fish resources, it appears that there are important oil and gas fields around the islands. In 2012, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the war, the tension between Buenos Aires and London flared up again. In reality, the two capitals limited themselves to producing only harsh rhetoric and mutual accusations of ‘colonialism’. In March 2013 a referendum was held with a predictable outcome among the residents of the islands (only three against out of 1500 entitled to) which reaffirmed the legitimacy of English sovereignty based on the principle of self-determination of peoples. Not recognizing the referendum outcome, the Casa Rosada has repeatedly turned to international organizations, starting with the United Nations, to start negotiations with the British counterpart, without however reaping any diplomatic success. The Falkland / Malvinas issue made a comeback in June 2014, a few days before the start of the World CupFifa in Brazil. On the occasion of a friendly match played in Buenos Aires between the Argentina and Slovenia national teams, the hosts displayed a banner in support of Argentina’s claim to the disputed islands. The case caused a stir but was immediately resolved by FIFA, which intervened by inflicting a heavy fine on the Argentine federation and the obligation to apologize for having politicized a sporting event.

Shale gas : the new Argentine Eldorado

For more than fifty years, the Middle East has been the world’s leading energy reservoir. Today, however, countries such as Russia, China, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada or the United States, thanks to the exploitation of unconventional gas and oil sources (shale gas and shale oil), could join the club of energy giants: among these is also Argentina.

According to the findings of the national giant Ypf, one of the largest deposits is located in Vaca Muerta, in the province of Neuquén. According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), Buenos Aires reserves would amount to 802 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 27 billion barrels of oil. With such potential, the country could compete with Venezuela and Brazil as South America’s leading fossil fuel producer, as long as the authorities can find an economically viable extraction method.

In the absence of the necessary technical know-how, the Buenos Aires government sold the concessions for the Vaca Muerta wells to the US company Exxon. At the same time, the Argentine executive has not given up on studying new strategies and partnerships with major Russian and Chinese companies such as Rosneft and CNPC.

To understand the strategic value of the shale gas phenomenon, it is important to compare the Vaca Muerta data with those of the largest conventional gas field in Loma La Lata. The latter holds reserves for only 10.8 tcf; for its part, those of Neuquén amount to 425 tcf, or 53% of the total reserves ascertained by the EIA. An incredible wealth for a country in which over half of the energy sector depends on natural gas. Such an Eldorado would first of all guarantee greater energy self-sufficiency and, on the other, a more active projection at the international level.

The case of the Falklands / Malvinas

The intricate dispute of the Falkland Islands / Malvinas dates back to 1833, when the archipelago, located off the coast of Argentina, was absorbed by Great Britain. The dispute still affects Argentina’s relations with the rest of the world today. In this sense, the bloody war of 1982, unleashed by the occupation of the archipelago decided by the military junta of Buenos Aires, and characterized by the violent British reaction, cost the Argentines a humiliating defeat and the crisis of the regime, without opening the door to a solution. litigation and, indeed, making it more distant and complex. Since then, all Argentine governments have raised the issue of their claim before the major international bodies, generally gathering broad consensus and thus creating transversal agreements with numerous other countries in the southern hemisphere, in turn interested in fighting the residues of colonialism that still exist. Although popular from the point of view of internal consensus, however, the recurring tensions with the United Kingdom have at times hindered Argentine relations with European countries and the United States. In March 2013, a referendum was held which confirmed in a plebiscite manner (99.8% of the votes) that the archipelago belonged to the British overseas territories. The Buenos Aires government, supported by the entire South American community, did not recognize the referendum outcome and resumed pressure on London to negotiate a new agreement for the disputed islands.

Argentina Defense and Security