First Europe, then Latin America. The United States, Great Britain and the Falklands War (1982)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In April 1982, Argentina – a country allied with the United States through the Rio Pact – suddenly invaded the Falkland Islands, a long-time Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, disputed by Buenos Aires since the XIXth century. Margaret Thatcher, the then British Prime Minister, vigorously responded and finally Britain – a US NATO ally – was able to regain the Islands and re-establish the status quo ante. The conflict needs to be contextualized in the ‘second Cold War’ framework. The struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union was particularly tough in the first years of the 1980s and the bipolar logic strongly influenced the diplomatic course of the 1982 war. On the one hand, the Western hemisphere was at the core of the renewed anti-communist US strategy and Argentina was the main pillar in the Southern Cone. On the other hand, the strengthening of the Anglo-American ‘special relationship’ was the European cornerstone of the US grand strategy. Against this background, what kind of role the US chose to play in the Falklands war between two of their allies instinctively arises as the main question. Affected by diverging interests, the ‘special relationship’ was not indeed entirely special.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase Studies in International Security. From the Cold War to the Crisis of the New International Order
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Anglo-American relationship
  • Falklands war


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