Skip to comments.How the U.S. Almost Betrayed Britain
Posted on 04/01/2012 5:57:20 PM PDT by iowamark
Thirty years ago this Monday, Argentine marines invaded the Falkland Islands, killed or captured its British defenders and declared the islands to be Argentine territory: Les Malvinas. Britain dispatched a naval "task force" to regain them less than a week later. The Falklands War had begun.
According to newly released documents from the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the U.S. almost took sides against its most important ally, driven by the diplomatic maneuvering of Secretary of State Alexander Haig...
The most striking revelation from the meeting is the degree to which Haig's compromise favored the Argentines. The minutes are quite clear on this point: Haig "then described the elements of the American plan which in effect would give ultimate sovereignty to Argentina but under evolutionary conditions which the Islanders could ultimately accept."...
Thatcher's combination of judgment and steel nerves stood the test. Twice she accepted compromise proposals along lines that would have ended her career if the junta had accepted them. But she calculated (or gambled) throughout that the junta would never agree to the interim measure of withdrawing its troops from the islands. She proved to be rightand Britain won.
Though only some at the NSC that day wanted a British victory, almost everyone gained from it. The junta fell, free elections were held in 1983 and Argentina embarked on a rare period of political and economic stability that lasted almost two decades. None of the consequences feared at the NSC meeting actually materialized.
Not least among the beneficiaries were Reagan and Thatcher. She achieved dominance over the British political scene that lasted until the month of her dramatic downfall. Reagan had his main overseas partner in the Cold War sustained and strengthened for the long struggle ahead...
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The first sentence contains an error. The Argentines did not kill anyone in the initial invasion.
Mr. O'Sullivan is the author of "The President, the Pope and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World."
Al “I’m in charge now” Haig.
Haig’s general neutralist or pro-Argentine position (which was similar to Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s, by the way) is no great revelation, as it has been discussed in multiple histories of the Falklands war I have read that are many years old.
Not sure that I accept it but I can understand the underhanded politics of the US past and certainly now. I have little trust in the State Department (they do seem to have an agenda of their own these days).
Take their responses and combine it with today’s presidential politics and you have a very scary condition.
Not really sure if the US exists today! We have so many in all departments trying to undermine us. Is this the result of 50 years of cold war espionage or is this because of the undermining of the US internally?
I’d guess that it is an internal problem and seems to be continuing..
American hostility to British posessions in the New World goes back at least to the Monroe Doctrine. When NATO was set up, the treaty was worded carefully so that an attack upon the Falklands (and certain other colonial territories) would not trigger the US’s obligation to defend Great Britain.
On the other hand, Cap Weinberger wanted to give the British an aircraft carrier.
It is said that FDR would have abandoned England to save Uncle Joe and his soviet friends
That should read "anywhere else in the world". Eisenhower's disastrous intervention in the 1956 Suez Canal operation ensured (1) Nasser's survival, (2) the French abandonment of its colonies to radical anti-West elements, (3) no British help in Vietnam and (4) the rise of radical anti-American regimes around the world, as European countries rushed to get the heck out of their overseas possessions. State Department leftists have repeatedly sold American interests down the river while claiming to stand up for them.
Sounds like a needless war that should have been avoided.
Do the Brits still own the Falklands today?
They sure do. Prince William was just serving there.
“Prince William returns home after duty in Falklands”
Excellent analysis. If we had stayed out of the Suez crisis in 1956, and focused on helping the Hungarians regain their freedom, the world would have been vastly changed in a few weeks and the Cold War might have ended much earlier, and no Vietnam in the way that it was handled.
I’d also point out that point 1 you stated would also have meant no PLO, as Nasser set that up in 1964. Palestine/Arab terrorism may have been different.
“Eisenhower’s disastrous intervention in the 1956 Suez Canal operation ensured (1) Nasser’s survival, (2) the French abandonment of its colonies to radical anti-West elements, (3) no British help in Vietnam and (4) the rise of radical anti-American regimes around the world, as European countries rushed to get the heck out of their overseas possessions.”
The French fought to keep Indochina, and lost when our promises came up empty (they had no intention of holding it after WWII, but were told by the US that communism had to be contained), and they fought to keep Algeria (with no help) until it became clear that it was an endless war in a land that would never be “France” (they tried to populate it with enough French settlers to make it a “province” of France, but only ended up with about 10% of the population - similar to Portugal’s attempts in Angola & Mozabique)).
Who said that?
As low of an opinion as I have of FDR, I don't think that assertion even makes sense considering the fact that the USSR was on Germany's side until June 1941 (when Hitler backstabbed the USSR in Operation Barbarossa), but FDR was already providing the Brits considerable aid in advance of then. Official Lend-lease was passed in March 1941, and we were helping well before that.
Looking at Chapter 21, "We Are No Longer Alone", of Martin Gilbert's magisterial Churchill and America, which covers the period from January 1941 to April 1941, it's abundantly clear that FDR was 100% for the Allies in their darkest hours when Stalin and Hitler were still working together under the 1939 MolotovRibbentrop Pact.