It may be the stuff of three-decades-old history, but the Falklands conflict offers warfighting lessons of distinct importance to the U.S. Navy of today.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War between Great Britain and Argentina. For three months in the spring of 1982, 40,000 airmen, sailors, soldiers, and marines fought a short, sharp war over a group of South Atlantic islands with no significant resources and a population of more sheep than people. What is the significance of this seemingly anachronistic colonial war in the 21st century? Future budget constraints will require hard choices on procurement, doctrine, deployments, and training. The Falklands War was the first modern anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) war, pitting a joint expeditionary force against a regional power with modern land, air, and sea capabilities fighting over control of territory close to home. As such, it may prove far more relevant for the future U.S. Navy than any conflict in the past two decades.