Washington DC: US President Barack Obama met with UK Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron during an official visit to the US in March 2012. Agenda items included Iran's nuclear program, the bloodshed in Syria and after 30 years another potential UK Falklands Island (Islas Malvinas) crisis with Argentina.
The Falklands War began on April 2, 1982 when armed forces of Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. British PM Margaret Thatcher dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force, and to retake the islands via an amphibious assault. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with Argentina surrendering on June 14, 1982, returning the islands to British control.
Argentina officials are currently claiming that five oil exploration companies are working illegally off the Falkland Islands, contending that the islands were stolen by Britain more than a century ago. They are also upset that British naval assets (destroyer and submarine) have been assigned to the south Atlantic.
PM Cameron was concerned enough about another Falklands War to ask President Obama to lease the UK a US B2 (Spirit) Stealth Bomber, which could easily deter any hostile intentions of Argentina's government. Such new technology mitigates sending another 127 ship UK Naval Task Force (naval, air and ground forces), as in 1982, sailing for 45 days to the south Atlantic. The high speed US B2 Bomber transit time is measured in hours.
The B2 Bomber can penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop either GPS-guided bombs or nuclear bombs, and can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons.
President Obama agreed to the lease, provided that the US received naval and air basing rights on the Isle of Wight, which is not historically unprecedented. President Franklin Roosevelt and PM Winston Churchill struck a "Destroyers for Bases Agreement" in 1940, where 50 US Navy destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy in exchange for basing rights in Bermuda and Newfoundland.
President Obama also agreed to PM Cameron's request that a third B2 Bomber crew member be added to brew tea and that the name "Lady Margaret" be painted on the nose of the aircraft!
Writers Note:Thirty year anniversary celebrations will begin in the UK on May 20, 2012 (the day before the Naval Task Force landed in 1982) when a new tribute to the Falkland's fallen will be dedicated at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne will fly to Port Stanley, capitol of the Falkland Islands, to mark the anniversary of the liberation on June 14. He will also participate in various ceremonies commemorating "the valour and sacrifice of British soldiers and the Falkland Islanders."