Britain would lose the Falkland Islands to Argentina if the South American country invaded them, thanks to defence cuts, according to a commander of the 1982 Falklands War.
Major-General Julian Thompson, who commanded the brigade of Royal Marines and paratroops that helped to retake the islands, said it was likely Argentina would attack the islands as budget cuts had deprived the Royal Navy of an aircraft carrier to defend Britain’s South Atlantic territories.
“The Argentines have a marine brigade. They’ve got a parachute brigade and some good special forces,” General Thompson told The Times of London. “All they’ve got to do is get those guys on to the islands for long enough to destroy the [RAF] Typhoon jets and that’s the end of it.”
The scrapping of the Harrier fleet plan means Britain will have no aircraft carriers between 2011 and 2020, which is when the Queen Elizabeth carrier will become operational, according to The Daily Mail.
The Falklands is currently garrisoned by 1,300 troops, four Typhoon Eurofighters, a warship and possibly a submarine, according to the Express.
Argentina has stepped up the pressure on Britain to resolve the Falklands dispute, calling for a ban on British imports, preventing cruise ships that had visited the Falklands from docking at its ports, among other things.
While a Ministry of Defence spokesman denied the presence of “evidence of any current credible threat,”
Brigadier Bill Aldridge, commander of British Forces in the Falklands, expressed confidence in his ability to defend them. “I am not expecting to hand them over to anybody and therefore put us in a position where we would have to retake them,” he told Express.
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