Has Spain been encouraged to become more aggressive with incursions?

Has Spain been encouraged to become more aggressive with incursions?

During the term here of Commander British Forces Tim Henry, the Spanish appear to have become more cocky, as evidenced by the increase in incursions of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. The CBF's role is to send an appropriate message across the turbulent waters, but has he inadvertently been doing the opposite?

That is what people have been asking for some time now. Even now, as he prepares his bags to leave the Rock, he gives the impression that the presence of British forces here is uncertain. Is this is the kind of message that should be sent to those who claim Gibraltar's sovereignty? 

Gibraltar's strategic importance has always been regarded as a vital pivot in Britain's defence contribution not only to purely UK interests but to Britain's much wider contribution to western defence. Ask the Americans who are forever concerned when military people like Henry start downloading the Rock's role.

The wider world is one thing, but Gibraltar, being so close to the UK's military firmament, provides what can be described as a home strategic facility, allowing for access to trouble spots down Africa way and elsewhere.

The surveillance facilities have been boosted, which increases greater eye-power not only to purely UK eyes but also to American eyes.

If two purpose-built patrol boats are being got ready for Gibraltar, that cannot be a negative development either.

So why does Henry inject a degree of negativism to his thoughts about Gibraltar, which in money terms is really costing the MOD peanuts - and enjoying having the value of a friendly and cooperative people surrounding it.

As Henry sits in his big office in the top floor at The Tower does he feel ashamed about it? He shouldn't because that, too, is being refurbished.

Is the job too big for him?

Gone are the days when a rear-Admiral occupied his place, surely he doesn't think, or want, a Petty Officer or Able Seaman to sit in the top floor at The Tower where the Union Jack flies proudly.

So, what is he on about? Almost feeling apologetic about having to ward off the Spanish incursions, even offering the thought to those engaged in incursions that they may be entitled to do what they are doing. Has he also forgotten that there is a Spanish sovereignty claim which the UK is duty-bound to defence?

Why has he withdrawn into a position of solitary confinement, ignoring the people he is supposed to serve and resorting to a questionable position of reduced public relations?

What is going on at HQ British Forces which is not in the interests of British Gibraltar? Was he ever the right man for the job?