The UN Dunnit

On the 25 anniversary of the Falklands War, a veteran explains the Royal Navy’s hostage crisis (my emphasis).

…a former Falklands War commander expressed fury at how the sailors surrendered to Iranian gunboats without a fight.

Maj Gen Julian Thompson called for a review of the Navy’s rules of engagement, dictated by the United Nations, that they cannot open fire unless they are shot at first. “In my view this thing is a complete cock-up,” he said.

“I want to know why the Marines didn’t open fire or put up some sort of fight. My fear is that they didn’t have the right rules of engagement, which would allow them to do this.”

Thompson is the best of men (my sequencing and ellipsis):

…Brigadier Thompson’s plan was to capture Darwin and Goose Green before turning towards Stanley.

During the night on May 21, (he commanded) the British…amphibious landing on beaches around San Carlos Water, on the northern coast of East Falkland. The bay, known as Bomb Alley by British forces, was the scene of repeated air attacks by low-flying Argentinean jets.

By dawn the next day, they had established a secure beachhead from which to conduct (victorious) offensive operations.

Blair should do as Thompson says, and change the Navy’s RoE.


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