Argentina to invade Falklands after 30th anniversary furore dies down, commander warns
Argentina is likely to reinvade the Falklands once Britain drops its guard after the furore over the 30th anniversary events dies down, the former commander of British land forces has said.
In one of the starkest warnings over the islands’ future sovereignty Major Gen Julian Thompson said once the reinforced garrison and naval presence disappears at the end of this year Buenos Aires will look to repeat its 1982 action.
“The Argentines could invade and seize the Falkland Islands again,” he said in a speech to the Royal United Services Institute, the respected military think tank.
The former Royal Marine disclosed that after the British Government was “alerted” by the Argentina president Cristina Kirchner “stoking the sovereignty fires” it discretely reinforced the Falklands garrison and naval presence.
This would make an invasion “highly unlikely” this year but “in a few years time however, when the fuss has died down, and the UK’s guard is lowered, an Argentine coup de main operation to take the airfield is perfectly attainable”.
With at least four RAF Typhoons stationed at Stanley airfield alongside 1,200 troops, equipped with radar, surface-to-air missiles and the Navy’s latest Type 45 destroyer in the area, a conventional attack would be difficult.