If the Falklands War teaches anything, it is the fragility of conventional wisdom. Twenty-five years ago, on 2 April 1982, Argentine forces occupied Britain's tiny Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, 300 miles off the South American coast, setting off an unlikely war. Exactly two weeks before seizing the Falklands, Argentina had captured the tiny island of South Georgia several hundred miles farther east. The sovereignty of the Falklands and South Georgia, British possessions since 1833, had long been contested by Argentina.
Slightly more than 2,000 British citizens inhabited both Falklands Islands. Aside from fishing and sheepherding, the islands had no strategic, commercial, economic, or other value. Yet, Britain would send a naval task force 8,000 miles to recapture territory in the middle of nowhere.