Sunday, December 15, 2013

Judging Piñera as Commander in Chief

A big test looms
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera ends his term in March, and he could be dealing with a major crisis in the final days of his administration. The International Court of Justice will rule on a border dispute with Peru on Jan. 27. Tensions are sure to increase in the days leading to the decision, in which sizable fishing areas are at stake. As president, Piñera has been pragmatic, if not ambivalent. So, if Chile loses the verdict, don't expect Piñera to defy the court. If Peru loses and rejects the ruling, however, that would force Piñera to stand up to Peru, in what could be the biggest test of his leadership. Looking back at his four years in power, Piñera hasn't really stood out as a hawk. Military spending has slowed during his term, partly because the president chose to focus spending on earthquake reconstruction and public discontent. But he displayed toughness with Bolivia, drawing plans for higher security along the border. The final weeks of his term could see a flurry of military acquisitions, before Socialist Michelle Bachelet takes power. InfoDefensa reported that the armed forces pleaded with Piñera for funds to acquire new weapons. But Piñera, trying not to antagonize Peru, has refused to authorize any spending. None of the systems would be acquired in time for the court ruling, though. It's possible that Peru and Chile will face a diplomatic standoff that lasts months after the decision -- until June, that is, when the FIFA World Cup will dominate the two countries' attention.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Chile looses the veredict is because It failed to demostrate that a couple of fishing agrements were maritime border treaties that explicitly deliniate the maritime frontier. It is by itself destroys the Chilean Argument and leaves pathtway for the court ruling. So there will no room for a stand off other that implementing the ruling. Other interpretation will derrail Chile ambitions inside of the Pacific Aliance which represents much more econmically speaking.

Anonymous said...

How strong is the chance they will lose the ruling?

Juan Carlos Arancibia said...

Good question. Seems like it's a 50-50 chance that Chile prevails.

Anonymous said...

50-50 means status-quo, The only argument of Chile was to validate a couple of fishing agreemments as maritime border treaties, if the court dismisses such argument, the Chilean defense collapses, therefore The Court will rule. The last rulings similar to this introduce clear changes, so at this particular time the odds are defenitely agaist Chile. 50-50 is too much optimistic. Better wait and see.

Anonymous said...

I thought the laws about international borders were pretty clear. For obvious reasons they stick to longitudinal and latitudinal sections, right? Peru's claim doesn't seem to follow any logic it seems like.

Lobo de Afuera said...

"...until June, that is, when the FIFA World Cup will dominate the two countries' attention"…haha you can't be serious, if all what is needed to stop a potential standoff between both countries is the World Cup then this conflict is more hot air than anything. Having said that, Peru is not going to the WC, does this mean they might have less reasons to lose interest in this standoff?
I hope that this impasse will not derail the Pacific Alliance, amongst its current four members, both Peru and Chile have the best credentials to lead and gain the most out of it.

Anonymous said...

And the unanswered question was- and still is:

PIÑERA AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF. Thanks

Juan Carlos Arancibia said...

Lobo, I wasn't all that serious about the World Cup. But soccer does tend to dominate public attention in South America. And don't forget that Honduras and El Salvador went to war in 1969 in what became known as the Soccer War.

Anonymous said...

"Piñera as Commander in Chief"
1. In a scale of 100, 15 and no more.
2. Defense ministers.
All of them were mediocrities below average:
a) Ravinet had destroyed strategic Los Cerrillos Airport and Mapocho RR Station. At the same time, he impeded the possible- and necessary- construction of a railroad to Valparaiso. Nevertheless,
P. appointed Ravinet Defense Minister! No kidding.
b) Allamand did all he could to destroy the Copper Reserved Law. A law that had helped replacing the armed forces museum-pieces equipment. The "LRC" worked, which is unusual for most laws, yet now, it seems there is consensus to destroy such law.
c) Etc.
3. Insurgency in Araucania (with no counter-insurgency activity in area.)
P. appointed committees of doing-nothing bureaucrats. They did nothing to pacify the region. Foreign fifth-columnists- camouflaged as NGOs- have been flooding the area with anti-Chilean propaganda, and money, money, money.
4. Armed forces modernization programs
P. stopped armed forces purchases pending resolution of the northern maritime arbitration, so as not to offend the Peruvian neighbor. In the meantime, that neighbor has been making massive purchases of equipments. It is becoming just like a repeat of "Loco" Velasco Alvarado days.

Anonymous said...

If it is about the veredict, just speculations until now (would be more than nice a 50-50). And Anon 9, I agree wholeheartedly with you. After this, and probably if (if) the veredict is against Chile, Sebastian Piñera can kiss his political career goodbye for good. And probably the Right too.