The Falklands War: Britain vs. Argentina

HMS Invincible returning home from the war [1]
In 1982, the British and Argentinians fought in a 10 week war over islands in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. After seizing the islands and claiming sovereignty, the Argentinians were met with a British Naval task force, beginning the Falklands War. It lasted for 74 days, and ended with an Argentinian surrender.

Background:

The British discovered the Falkland Islands in the late 1600’s, but were second to settle after the french in 1764.[1] After abandoning it in 1774, the British still claimed sovereignty over the islands. After destroying an Argentinian fort on the Islands in 1831, the British removed the remaining settelers, and kept control of the islands undisputed for 150 years. [1] The island was treated just as another British colony, and had a population of about 1,900 residents (mostly of British decent). [1] A U.N. resolution in 1964 lead to “peaceful negotiations” to take place, but were halted in 1982 when the Argentinians threatened to resort to other means, if there was no expedited solution. The Argentinians occupied the islands on 2 April, 1982.

 

This war can be looked at through two different perspectives: That of the Argentinians who believed that the land was rightfully theirs, and that of the British who were defending their people and land.

Argentinian Soldiers [1]
The Argentinians saw the war as taking back what was rightfully theirs. The believed that the islands were theirs due to their proximity to the country. On the other hand, the British believed that the islands were part of the Empire due to the fact that they had been under British rule for over 150 years. When the British saw the occupation of their islands, they saw it as a threat to their land and sent in troops to defend it.

 

References:

  1. https://owlcation.com/humanities/Just-on-Both-Sides-The-Falklands-War-A-Case-Study-in-Just-War-Theory

  1 comment for “The Falklands War: Britain vs. Argentina

  1. hryan
    October 5, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    The Falklands can be a headache and I admire you for confronting the war. I’m really interested in the justifications you mention in your last paragraph. The Argentinians were relying on geographic claims whereas the British were relying on historical ones. It might be helpful to look at some literature on sovereignty and what the international community accepts as plausible claims.
    -HR

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