The renewed flare-up of tensions between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands two months before the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war in which Britain defeated Argentina has prompted Britain to demonstrate her seriousness to defend the islands.
Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of colonialism because it sought to recover the islands despite the expressed will of the Islanders. Britain also announced that HMS Dauntless, one of the Royal Navy's most modern vessels, will be sailing for the islands in the next couple of months. It has nothing to do with the current tension, explained the navy, and was planned a long time ago.
This week a high-profile British soldier arrived on the islands – the Duke of Cambridge, a.k.a. Prince William.
During the Cold War, a US force in Germany or South Korea was considered a tripwire in terms of letting the Soviet Union or China know that any invasion on their part would result in American casualties and would therefore escalate to a full-scale war. The Prince will do his tour of duty and be reunited with the Duchess Kate, but as long as he is there, he constitutes - symbolically - an extremely effective tripwire, given the popularity of the couple.
The arrival of Prince William, like the dispatch of HMS Dauntless, is also being spinned as a routine rotation. The Argentinians understandably regard it as something more.
The presence of "Conquistador" William provoked a demonstration in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires against a British bank, and the demonstration's leader condemned the presence on Argentinian territory of the pirate, Prince William. The Argentine Foreign Ministry was less crude, but referred to William's arrival as a provocation and an attempt by Britain to "militarize the conflict."
Argentina's vice president, Amado Boudou, explained to his countrymen that William's arrival was an attempt by the British government to divert attention from the high British unemployment levels and Scotland's bid for independence.