Why did Margaret Thatcher decide to use military force to reclaim the Falkland Islands after the Argentine occupation in April 1982? Why did she take such a belligerent line in the House of Commons debate just two days after the invasion of the islands? Why did she reject diplomatic alternatives, including the peace shuttle of US Secretary of State Al Haig? Why did she incur the cost of the military operation which increased public spending and delayed the tax cuts that she had promised?
These and other issues will be analysed in this talk, which looks behind the façade of the official explanations for the war. Also considered will be the UN resolution authorising the use of military force, the response of European countries to the conflict, and the crucial military engagements which determined the war’s outcome. The impact on domestic politics, including the ‘Falklands Factor’ in the 1983 General Election, will also be assessed.
This lecture is part of the 'Controversies in UK Foreign Policy: Diplomacy or Military Force?' lecture series, taking place on Fridays from 20 October to 24 November 2023. You may either register for individual lectures or you may choose to register for the entire lecture series at a reduced price.
Please note: this lecture will close to enrolments at at 23:59 UTC on 7 November 2023.