Anglo-American Relations and the Falklands Conflict
It has been one of the peculiar features of the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and the United Kingdom that however one judges its success in co-operation for the defence of Europe, its extension to out-of-area issues has often been difficult as American and British interests in various regions of the world have often differed. One historical parallel to the Falklands conflict of 1982 which has been cited frequently is the Suez crisis of 1956 where the United States strongly opposed British policy. This has been interpreted in different ways. Some in the US administration, like Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Secretary of State Alexander Haig saw Suez as an example not to be repeated. In their view the American stance during the Suez crisis had dramatically weakened Western unity after World War II and damaged the Anglo-American relationship. The Argentine junta on the other hand interpreted the precedent of Suez as evidence that the United States would be on the side of anti-colonialism and not support Britain. Although the United States eventually supported Britain very strongly over the Falklands, initial American responses were marked by the some degree of ambivalence as the administration found itself in a situation where it had to decide between competing strategic interests.
KeywordsInternational Perspective British Government Falkland Island Reagan Administration Security Council Resolution
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