The Falklands War happened because of Britain’s diplomatic and political failure

“… few moral or political complications surround the events of April to June 1982. The cause was just.” The Times 2nd April 2022

The Falklands War was entirely avoidable and the run up to it was riddled with moral and political complications – that’s why Lord Carrington resigned, because he and his diplomats had failed. To start with the islands were not defended. There were no troops there and the Governor drove around in a taxi like he was in a Gilbert and Sullivan parody. Those very few Britons who had heard of the benighted place conspired in the effective abandonment of its people.

The Falklands were an accidental bit of post Imperial detritus serving no useful purpose. Rockall had more strategic significance. The islands had no resources to speak of, are in a part of the South Atlantic that nobody visits for good reason. However Galtieri saw that he could make a bit of mischief by claiming them. British diplomats ignored the threat and the only British vessel in the area was withdrawn. It was like a homeowner leaving his front door open and putting up a sign saying “Help Yourself”.

If the Foreign Office has read the runes better and if the Government had cared the early deployment of a defence force could have avoided the unpleasantness. Hundreds of families were bereaved not because of the honourable pursuit of a just cause but because of culpable political and diplomatic failure.

One thought on “The Falklands War happened because of Britain’s diplomatic and political failure

  1. Completely agree Paddy. Britain could have negotiated a settlement with Argentina years before the war began. The Falklands are just a colonial possession from another age. Yet politicians become hoisted on a petard of nationalism and flag shagging that prevents any form of common dialogue prevailing.
    It was the appalling jingoism at the time that influenced my decision to permanently emigrate to Europe. Although I was ashamed of Britain I did not support the invasion which was an act of stupidity by a drunken tin-star general. Two wrongs still don’t make it right.
    In the post-war years Britain struggled economically and that lasted until Blair finally changed the country. Then there was a decade of decency and prosperity. Now all that negativity and faux nationalisim is back but with a vengeance. Perversely the British people seem to enjoy it since the keep voting for Tories. I realised back in the day I belonged elsewhere. The best choice I ever made.


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