The 25 year anniversary of the Falklands invasion recently came up. This is actually my earliest political memory. That was 1982 and I was 14 years old. The last war before that was the 1975 invasion of South Vietnam, which I have no recollection of at all (where I would have been 7 years old). I was living in Fiji at the time and there was no television there, but I had access to shortwave radio.

I couldn't believe that someone had attacked Britain and thought they could get away with it. The first thing I didn't understand was why Britain didn't nuke Buenos Aires. What was the point in a nuclear deterrent if you didn't use it? My father told me that no-one would ever talk to Britain again if they did that. To me, Argentina, a dictatorship, was just one big out-group, that needed to be wiped off the face of the earth.

The next thing I didn't understand was why Britain was being forced to fight alone. Why wasn't the whole free world rallying behind Britain? What was the point of NATO if when it came to the crunch, no-one bothered to turn up? Years later an Australian woman told me that that was the way to do it - if two people have a problem, then they should sort it out themselves, rather than Argentina calling in all its friends and Britain calling in all of its friends. To me, this is madness. It means a strong dictator can conquer weak democracies.

Fortunately it all worked out in the end. But it highlighted a need to have better protection of the free world, and as an adjunct, we need to spend some time rolling back the attitude that would have people attacking the free world in the first place when they should be protecting it instead, and attacking dictators.

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