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View Diary: Overnight News Digest -- "Hedgehog" Edition (41 comments)

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  •  Rematch (11+ / 0-)

    Not if Argentina is smart. From the BBC last year, so take it as spin, but:

    Much has changed in strategic terms. Nowadays, it could be won back through long-range air power, says Professor Michael Clarke, director of the Royal United Services Institute. The lack of carrier aircraft is an impediment. Many, including former head of the military General Sir Mike Jackson, have said it would now be impossible to recapture the islands. Clarke disagrees. Bombers from Ascension - backed by refuelling planes - could destroy Mt Pleasant air base if it fell into Argentine hands. Once Argentine defences had been nullified, special forces could be dropped onto the islands. So it is possible - but politically, there is probably no heart for such a campaign, Clarke says.

    The Falklands War was 30 years ago. "But in military terms it is 100 years ago," says Clarke. British forces have advanced about 60 years in sophistication, but Argentine forces have barely improved, still using military hardware from the 1970s and 80s. Southby-Tailyour says they no longer have the landing craft to make an amphibious landing possible. However their special forces are highly respected.

    Most military thinkers agree they offer the only credible threat through a surprise attack on Mt Pleasant. One scenario might be a civilian airliner packed with special forces to divert to Mt Pleasant, says Colonel Southby-Tailyour. "It would take a very brave politician to shoot down a civilian airliner in cold blood. The Argentine forces are good. They could jump out and shoot everything up."

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