A great deal has been said about the most recent slash and burn of the Defence budget following the risible Strategic Defence Review. Most commentary, articles, letters to the Telegraph and indignant conversation at the saloon bar usually ends with ".... and we wouldn't be able to do the Falklands again you know."
That may indeed be true, even though it gives the Argentinians a capability that in reality is no more there to attack than we have to defend. Perhaps they've acquired a Klingon Death Ray just as we've lost early warning capability with the trashing of Nimrod, just before it's due to enter service, and after we've written most of the cheques. Think Smart?........ think again stupid...
Anyway, I'm here to help and I have a tried but not trusted early warning alternative. After the Falklands War, I attended a debrief session from one of the teams touring the Army to tell us all about the lessons learned. The intelligence officer who spoke told us, without a hint of embarrassment, that the Argentinians had been buying maps of the Falklands in some quantity from Stanfords, the map shop, in the run up to the invasion. This didn't strike anyone as odd at the time, least of all British Intelligence, but then relying on some shop assistants who were probably more focused on their elevenses and their Rich Tea biscuits than the national defence is right up there in adopting the General Percival approach to vigilance, "they won't come that way."
So, time to hide the Rich Tea biscuits and sharpen up the shop assistants at Stanfords and put them on watch for swarthy, shifty looking foreigners with an unusual interest in, "the wildlife of the Malvin..... I mean Falklands senor......."
ehmmmmmm...... "What do mean.. you can see it all on Google Earth anyway? Rats, bugger and damm..... better phone the Septics again. Your turn Johnny...."