The UK is making moves to increase its defensive capabilities in the Falkland Islands, in the latest sign that a standoff could be brewing in the South Atlantic. Defense News reports:
Britain is to invest £180 million (US $268.7 million) over the next 10 years strengthening its military presence on the Falkland Islands and has already started looking for a contractor to build a key element of a ground-based air defense (GBAD) system.
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon outlined plans to deploy helicopters and upgrade port facilities along with the GBAD system to boost Britain’s military on the islands.
There’s a good reason why the UK has been feeling like its current defenses of the Falklands aren’t enough. Russia and Argentina have a deal in the works that would see Russia trading long-range strike jets for beef and wheat supplies. Given Argentina’s location, there’s really only one conceivable target they could be used on: the Falklands. With Argentina’s beleaguered, nationalistic President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner looking increasingly unhinged, and with Russia unlikely to change tack out of fondness for the idea of peace in the western hemisphere, this is a potential flashpoint to watch.