Reconsiderations: The War of the Falkland Islands, 1982

The Argentine destroyer ARA Santísima.

The War of the Falkland Islands began with a successful invasion by Argentine forces on April 2, 1982, and ended with their surrender to British forces ten weeks later. It was a textbook example of a limited war-limited in time, in location, in objectives and in means. Care was taken when it came to the treatment of civilians and prisoners and only in the later stages did noncombatants get caught in the fighting. The military casualties were severe-800 to 1,000 Argentine and 250 British dead-but still only a small proportion of the forces committed.

In the character of the military operations, the clarity of the issues at stake and the unambiguous outcome, it was a curiously old-fashioned war. We have become used to wars of political complexity and strategic confusion. Such modern dramas were underway in the Middle East and Central America in 1982, compared with which the Falklands War came and went like something

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