World News and Trends: British rule over Gibraltar threatened

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British rule over Gibraltar threatened

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At the beginning of 1947 most of the British Empire was still intact, but the next 40 years saw a rapid unraveling of the empire on which it once could be said the sun never set. Threatened now are its vestiges.

The British fought a war to retain sovereignty in the Falkland Islands in 1982. Hong Kong is to be returned to China this year. And Spain has never been happy with the status of Gibraltar.

Recently Marcus Warren reported that "Britain's commander in Gibraltar could soon be taking orders from a Spanish officer, ending nearly 300 years of sole British military control of the Rock. A change in NATO's structure, now under discussion, to put a Spaniard above the British officer in the Mediterranean chain of command would be a huge propaganda victory for Spain, which has never recognised British rule of the tiny peninsula."

Ever since the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has struggled to find a new role for itself. Who would have thought that its very command structure could figure in the future of Spanish claims on Gibraltar? (Source: The Sunday Telegraph.)