The Falklands crisis

U.S. forces stationed in the Philippines were withdrawn and U.S. military installations closed in 1992 after the Philippine Senate failed to renews a status of forces agreement. The two countries have since allowed some small number of U.S. troops in country to assist with counterterrorism operations under a Visiting Forces Agreement, but Duerte has threatened to cancel that as well.

So, in essence, Reagan asked Thatcher to ease off before completely finishing the job, which is what we did in Operation Desert Storm, but she wisely refused. Good for her!

The Falklands war was more limited than the Gulf war, though. Both were wars to liberate a place that had been invaded and annexed, but there were no attacks on Argentina proper, whereas Iraq was bombed and part of it was invaded.

Support the fascist military dictatorship, which kills dissidents in their country, rather than the government which provides internal self-government to the residents of the islands, and who as a matter of self-determination want to stay British rather than come under the control of the local fascist military dictatorship?

Why should the local power always be preferred, without taking into account the wishes of the people of the islands, and the nature of the local government?

I don’t think the USA was particularly concerned about specific adherence to the Monroe Doctrine in 1982. Their reason for staying out of the fight was rather more immediate; there was no national interest in it, no significant public support for such a thing, and nothing but potential downside.

They didn’t “prefer” Argentina any more than Canada, the Netherlands, or Japan did, or any other of the dozens of the UK’s allies did who elected not to help them.

She refused?

Funny, I had forgotten how Thatcher went on from taking back the Falklands to a full scale invasion of Argentina and overthrowing the existing regime.

Thatcher did exactly what Bush did in Desert Storm; she liberated the territory that had been invaded and then stopped.

As others have said, however. the Falklands war was actually MORE limited. While the Allies didn’t conquer Iraq, they both invaded and bombed it, killing a great many Iraqis. In the case of the Falklands, the British did not attack Argentina itself, despite the fact that it would have been advantageous to at least attack the airbases from which Argentina launched the navy bombers that carried Exocet missiles. The only attack outside the exclusion zone was the sinking of General Belgrano, an attack even the Argentine Navy felt was a justified act of war (in fact, General Belgrano’s captain felt it was justified.)

It was a pretty tenuous reading. Argentina had never occupied the Falklands. Their claim was based on the fact that Spain had owned the Falklands at one point (this was before Argentina was a country). Argentina claimed that they had inherited Spanish ownership of the islands when they became an independent nation.

Argentina and Britain signed a treaty in 1850, in which both countries agreed that all disputes between them were settled. At this time, Britain was in control of the Falkland Islands. Britain therefore had declared that the treaty is an agreement with Argentina that the Falklands are British territory. (And Argentina seemed to agree at the time. They had previously been making claims on the Falklands through diplomatic notes; after the treaty was signed they ceased doing so. They resumed making claims in 1885.)


Argentine name for the Falkland Islands, from French Malouins, name for inhabitants of the French city of St. Malo, who attempted a colony there in 1764 under Louis-Antoine de Bougainville.

I’m aware of the name. But the name is part of the dispute.

Calling the islands the Falklands rather than the Malvinas is a recognition that regardless of your opinion on who should be controlling the islands, the British are doing so. And with that control comes the naming rights. When and if Argentina gains control, they can rename them.

There’s also the issue of familiarity. People know the name Falklands more than Malvinas.

English-speaking people.

But regardless of “recognition”, at least speaking for myself, ISTM it’s appropriate to use Falklands when communicating in English, as we are doing here, and Malvinas when communicating in (my native) Spanish. In either case nobody would get confused.

Well, this is an English speaking message board.

Are you saying that the Malvinas is the common name for these islands outside of the English speaking world? Like in China or Japan or Russia?

No, I am not saying that.
Christ, man, I am agreeing with you.

OTOH I don’t know why its_the_daddy felt it would be relevant.

For what it’s worth, I checked on the Chinese, Japanese, and Russian versions of Wikipedia. They all acknowledge the two names exist. But they all default to the Falklands as the official name.

Chinese: 福克兰群岛 (Fú kè lán qúndǎo)
Japanese: フォークランド諸島 (Fōkurando shotō)
Russian: Фолклендские острова (Folklendskiye ostrova)

The Malvinas is given as a Spanish version of the name:

Chinese: 马尔维纳斯群岛 (Mǎ’ěr wéi nà sī qúndǎo)
Japanese: マルビナス諸島 (Marubinasu shotō)
Russian: Мальви́нские острова (Mal’vínskiye ostrova)

This was also true of several other non-English Wikipedias, all of which use a transliterated version of the Falklands as the official default and list a transliterated version of the Malvinas as a Spanish version of the name.

Arabic: فوكلاند (uzur fukland)
German: Falklandinseln
Italian: Isole Falkland
Korean: 포클랜드 제도 (pokeullaendeu jedo)
Swedish: Falklandsöarna
Vietnamese: Quần đảo Falkland

The three exceptions I found were the Spanish, French, and Portuguese Wikipedias, which use the Malvinas as the official default and list the Falklands as an English version of the name.

Spanish: Islas Malvinas
French: Îles Malouines
Portuguese: Ilhas Malvinas

Back on the topic: As to how come Ron would ask Mags to at least allow a face-saving “diplomatic exit” for Argentina, that probably has to do with realizing that the defeat would lead to what happened afterwards in our IRL timeline: having thrown away the best of their Armed Forces in vain, all the while lying to their opressed population about what they were doing, the Junta was disgraced, the Armed Forces command was disgraced, their whole governing structure was irreversibly discredited and within a year and a half democratic constitutional rule had been restored. At the time (1982) many in the US policy apparatus still felt that the Juntas were the best way to “stop the commies” in South America and were worried about the possibility of what next if that happened.

I guess I thought it worth pointing out that, whatever claims have been made since, the islands were ‘discovered’, colonised and first named by people from St Malo (which was then and is now in France) (or, as some would say, in Brittany (English) or Bretagne (French))

Agree with all of this, additionally there is basically no “indigenous” rights or other such related to these islands. These islands had basically been uninhabited until a rotating series of Europeans attempted to establish colonies there. Those colonies were usually “task specific” to facilitate shipping or small military garrisons intended to aid with force projection in the South Atlantic.

As you say the country of “Argentine” has no direct social or cultural links to the islands or history, as an independent nation, of ever exercising any meaningful control over them. The full totality of its claim is that “Argentina was a Spanish colony that gained independence from Spain, and Spain used to control the Falklands.” A claim that is undermined by Argentina’s long ago acceptance of a treaty with Britain that was signed with no complaints issued about British control of the Falklands. It ultimately lumps this claim into a similar category to some of say, China’s most questionable claims (like to dominion over various uninhabited spits of land in the South China sea), which is basically “this is really close to us and we want it.” But arguably even some of China’s most dubious claimed territory, there is actually some historical real history there of China exercising some level of control or influence over the territory in question. Argentina literally has nothing like that, and at 300 miles from the coast the Falkland islands are even further away than most of China’s island claims.

On top of all that basically everyone who lives there are British Isles people descended from the Scottish/Welsh who lived and worked on the island for a hundred or more years, or English people who have moved there at some point in the 20th century for various reasons.

God, let’s not drag the French into this as well.

I don’t think this is accurate. It appears the islands were discovered by the British in 1690, which is when they named them the Falklands. But they did not establish any settlement on the islands. The French were the first to settle on the island, starting in 1764, which is when they named them the Malouines.

So Britain can claim precedence in discovering and naming while France can claim precedence in colonizing.

Well, what she did was finish the job in terms of how Argentina related to England. We could not say the same thing after Desert Storm. The situations were very different.