Since the war of 1982, the 3,000 people who live in the remote Falkland Islands have replaced traditional colonial rule with their own autonomous government, and become wealthy from the sale of fishing licences. Now oil has been discovered, and it promises almost unimaginable wealth. Money has already transformed this tiny society - not always for the better. But home-grown challenges are as nothing compared to the threat from their neighbour, Argentina.The oil discoveries have fuelled Argentina's ambitions to take the Islands that they believe were stolen from them almost 180 years ago. Buenos Aires is making the 'Malvinas' a regional issue involving other South American countries, and has established an economic blockade of the Islands, virtually cutting them off from the continent. It is a policy they say they will continue until London agrees to discuss a transition to Argentine rule. In response, the Prime Minister has stated that Britain will support the Islanders' right to remain British.The author was born in the Falklands, and returned there to see for himself the profound ways in which his homeland has changed. He considers what islanders have gained and lost, the challenges they face and why they may soon be at the centre of another South Atlantic crisis.
I was born in the Falklands Islands, which may not surprise readers of my three books. I was educated there, in Uruguay and in Britain, but I had returned to the Falklands to live by the time war broke out there in 1982. Having experienced invasion, occupation and conflict, I wanted to write about this from the point of view of Islanders. I told their stories, which are often inspiring, in "Falkland Islanders at War" and "Invasion 1982" (which is a much updated and augmented re-write of the first book).
I have just published a new book about the Islands, "Fortress Falklands - life under siege in Britain's last outpost". Publication coincided with the 30th anniversary of the war. It comes at a time when Argentina is again behaving in an agressive fashion, and the dispute is again making headlines. The book addresses these issues, and looks at the risks in the area, at the Islanders lives today, and their ambitions for the future. Oil has just been discovered and I examine the consequences of this.
Away from the Falklands, I worked for seven years as a presenter and producer for BBC World Service Radio, and as a journalist and editor on defence magazines. I have also been a media advisor and planner for the Ministry of Defence and my last job for the government was as a member of a team working to the Prime Minister's office on Afghanistan communications strategy.
I am now promoting Fortress Falklands and planning my fourth book.