Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Rumor of War

As Chile and Peru await a court ruling on their disputed Pacific Ocean border, officials in both countries are downplaying the possibility of heightened tensions or even armed conflict. The presidents of both nations have pledged to abide by the ruling of the International Court of Justice, and indications are that the two neighbors will keep their cool. Yet, rumors are swirling that Peru and Chile have already mobilized troops around the border, and that their armed forces are rushing purchases of military equipment ahead of the court decision. El Mostrador reported that Chilean Army and Air Force commanders are not convinced the reaction to the ruling will go as calmly as the diplomats characterize, and have been reinforcing their northern bases. The Chilean Navy, though, has been trying to strike a friendly tone with its Peruvian counterparts. El Mostrador cited a weapons buildup occurring in Peru that includes upgrades to its MIG 29 fighters, its helicopters and submarines, plus acquisitions of anti-tank missiles (the Russian-made Kornet-E) and other weapons apparently aimed at countering Chile's formidable armored brigades. To be sure, some of the Peruvian acquisitions are long-term projects, such as the construction of about a dozen warships and the planned acquisition of tanks. (A deal for Chinese  MBT 2000 tanks apparently fell through.) In Peru, there's concern about wargames Chile has conducted near the border. Chile calls these routine exercises. The International Court of Justice is not expected to rule until at least September. When it happens, the two countries will face a test like they haven't seen since the mid-1970s, when a political flare-up threatened to unleash a war.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

what do you think Juan i ask you because you always use facts and professional do you think its possible

Anonymous said...

The only individuals interested in a war in this isolated corner of South America are the Army traders trying to make a profit of this controversy. Historically Chile has been the bully of Bolivia and Peru, but it did not prevented Peru to bring Chile to The Hague looking for a Maritime delimitation that in this particular time does not exist and probably the court will rule in their favor , achieving a remarkable feat without shooting a bullet. Is reminds me that no matter how strong is one of the contenders Army, the weaker will resource in circumventing the reality and inflict a defeat to the bragging Bully. (Viet Nam - USA is the most clear example) America salio con el culo Roto.

Anonymous said...

that's why i ask Juan because of people like you that use their personal beliefs instead of facts. now please these is an educated post to talk in a educated way i am Chilean and have most respect for Peru and Bolivia. lets not use any insults on any country.

Juan Carlos Arancibia said...

Right now I put the chances of war at 10%. Both countries have a lot of economic interests in each other. If they're smart, leaders will realize they have more to lose than to gain by battling out for a piece of ocean, even if that part does have a lot of fish. Also, Humala is popular enough that he doesn't need a war to distract Peruvians and Pinera has only several months left on his term.