The Falkland Islands sprang to fame in 1982, when Argentine Forces invaded and occupied them. British rule was re-established following an intensely violent war. But, as the 30th anniversary of that conflict approaches, the causes of conflict in the Falklands have not been resolved. Simmering tensions means that a powerful military machine remains on the islands, and its guard is never relaxed.
The UK has some of its most modern and powerful defense assets there, and on permanent standby. These include Eurofighter Typhoon interceptors; ground to air missiles; mountaintop radar sites, and destroyers and frigates. In addition, the islanders themselves have a potent infantry defense force. Graham Bound’s book Fortress Falklands examines the defenses of the islands today and the ongoing need for vigilance.
Relations with Argentina have deteriorated since the discovery of oil in Falklands waters and a boom in the Falklands economy. In response, Buenos Aires has established a ban on shipping links between South America and the islands, and they exploit every opportunity to press their case for sovereignty. Islanders believe they are under economic siege.