House of Commons Library

The Defence of the Falkland Islands

Published Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This note looks at the UK defence presence in the Falkland Islands and reviews the current debate about whether the Islands are adequately defended in the event of future aggression.

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The reconfiguration of the Armed Forces envisaged in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review has raised questions about the United Kingdom’s ability to defend the Falkland Islands. Of particular concern is the loss of a carrier strike capability for the next decade. The UK government is committed to supporting the Falkland Islanders right to self-determination. British forces are based in the Falklands to deter any military aggression against the South Atlantic Overseas Territories. They include air defence assets, maritime patrol capability and infantry, along with regular naval deployments. Despite the recent rise in tensions with Argentina over the Falklands, Jane’s assesses the risk of a return to military conflict as remote.

This note should be read in conjunction with Library Standard Note SN05602, Argentina and the Falkland Islands (last updated 27 January 2012).

Commons Briefing papers SN06201

Author: Louisa Brooke-Holland

Topics: Armed forces, Defence expenditure, Defence policy, Falkland Islands, Latin America

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