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December 20, 2016
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May 3, 2007
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April 19, 1982
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,r Aiip.Lor,Release 2007/0kftrtrAk-RDP84-M00127R000100060006-6 19 Am= 1982 0_11 ?AGE VO e ritanmo t was a nineteenth:emtury showdown in tweateh-century batrie dress. Passing Admiral Nelson's flagship, Victory, last ? we a British armada set sail forthestorrn- lest waters at the farthest reaches of the South Atlantic. The carrier Invincble led ? the way. The destroyer Brilliant was there, and so were the frigate Alacrity, the assault ship Fearless and the landing ship Sir Gal*. , had. Left asters were the crowds waving little Union Jacks and the wives wmping on the pier. And for a while the stirring specta- cle overwhelmed an unsettling reality: that the diminished British fleet, much alit sal- ? vaged from mothballs andthe selling block, was heading fora very =certain moment in history with Ar rice's tin-pot navy. The prim was the Falkland Islands, a windy, woolly Last colony that Britons have been ! trying to forget fora generation. ' In the world's least expected crisis, two ? tinlikey but deadly serious combatants squared off for a duel of honor. Argentina provided the slap two weeks ago, senrqng 4,000 troops to claim the FltiklirwrI% and4 capturing the islands' 1,800 British sub- jects. Taker off guard, Prime Minister Mar- garet Thatcher responded sharply, dc- mending that Argentina withdraw all its troops before diplomats could take over, ? freezing more than S1.4 billion in Argentine assets held by British banks and la=ching a multi-ship task force southward at a clip that could put the bulk of the fleet within combat range by =fly next week. Defense Secretary John Nott declared a 200-nauti- cal-mile war Dane around the Falklands and warned that after midnight Easter Sunday .Argentine ships in the zone rni ght be blasted out of the waxer?presumably by British nuclear submarines. Conjuring up memo-- ries oillitler,7,170tr+Prsaid that her genera- ton had learned a longtime ago the risks of "not stopping a dictator." Argentina stuck to ita guns. The military government of President Leopoldo Gelded announced its own "theater of operations' around the islands and kcta creaking car- rier task force on alert. Major air bases prepared for acton, and from the Patago- nian city of Camocicatt Rivaciavia big C-130 transports took of at twenty-minute inter4 vais to deliver troops and equip:rams to the Falklands. Argentines flocked to recruiting offices, practiced for air raids and rallied around the generally unpopular Gaited regime. "If the Argentine people are at- tacked by military, naval, land or air means," Galtieri vowed, "the Argentinena- tion in arras, withal' the mesas at its ciispos- al, will present battle." rns to ? Both Glide:4 and Thatcher were betting their own political fiatures on the outcome. Ronald Reagan found himself caught be- tween America's closest ally and a right- ? wing dictatorship that he has cultivated with care. "We're friends of both," the President said lamely, though the United Sham joined the U.N. Security Council ma- jority demanding an Argentine witlacirawaL Secretary of StateAlexander Haig set off on a peace mission between London and Bue- nos Aires. Aftersix hours of talks in London Haig emerged "impressed by ['Thatche's] firm determination." In Buenos Aires, Gal- tied organized a mass rally to impress Hag with Argentina's own determination, but later he reportedly offered a first step to- ward compromise if Britain called off its . fleet and acknowledged Argentine sover- eignty over theFalklands, Argentina would withdraw its occupation force and negraiate on an arras:gm:tent acceptable to the Brit- ish. Haig spent almost eleven hours in talks with the Argentinians--and then flew back to London with their proposals. ; In the Falklands themselves, the storm of' international brinkmanship swirled around the lives of island shepherds accustomed to sublime isolation and obscurity. Fiercely . British in custom for 149 years, the local "kelpers." named after the productive beds of seaweed of their shores, suddenly had to adjust to Spanish-language radio, Argen- tine law and an inflation-wracked peso worth 11,575 per dollar. Stanley, their pret- ty little capital of wood-frame houses and picket fences, could turn to tinder in any bombardment "If there is a fight on this island," said lint Burgess, a rotted sea cap- tain," therewill be nothi rig to come track to." Audience Britain's armada . was equipped forevery possibility from blockad- ing the Falklands to razing Stanley. The main battle fleet steamed out of Parma:cud: led by the Invincible and her sister carrier; the Hermes, each bristling with Sea King ? helicopters and Sea Harrier lump jets" on display fortheBritish television aud and for the Argentines. The fleet included ? fifteen major warships, and among its flight crew was the Queen's second son, Prince . Andrew, a helicopter pilot. Another, less conspicuous flotilla left Gibraltar, apiiar-: ently to rendezvous wi th the main fo rmn ear Britain's Ascension Island, 4,500 miles northwest of the Falklands. At ses. the B rit- ? ish sailors and marines drilled?and on or- ders shaved of their beards so that tl3eir gas masks would Atmoresnugly. ? STAT As the British Beet churned south at 12 . . knots, ttie Argcltines had rime to _prepare. According to U.S. intriligenc.e reports, the Argentines plan to deploy a 7,000-man force on the Falklands, backed by aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery. By the time the British task force arrives, the Argentines believe they will have enough firepower to hold off 21,000 Royal Marin., let alone the 4,300 annarently en route. The Argen- tines were busy lengthening the airstrip at Stanley from 4,300 feet to 13,000 feet to accommodate ten Mirage-5 fighter bomb- ers and five Super Eteadard. fighters. The Argentines could use even more time. ILS. experts estimate that when the British ar- rive,. the Stanley runway probably will I ,. . . . . . . aye y about , feet Argentina's fighters can take off from the. short runwey, but they will need a longer stretch of tarmac before they can hit the side* with a full load of gu.ns, missiles and bombs. : Experience Oa paper, a battle for the Falldands appears to pit British naval supe- riority against Argentine air superiority. The British and Argentine navies can de- ploy roughly similar numbers of warships around the Falklands. But British offices and sailors are more experienced. In addi- tion, the British vessels were commissioned in the 1970s, while racist of Argentina's are. of World War II vintage. Argentina's main ships are the carrier Yeinticinco de Mayo, launched by the British in 1943, and the cruiser General Belgrano, launched by the, United States in 1938. A.mordina to U.S. =telt einticin d already broken down and limped back to! ? port last week. TEe frigact Gueni^o was! reported disabled somewhere between the: Falklands and the South Geor4a islands. ? British submarines are particularly wor- ? risome to the Argentines. The nuclear- powered Superb was reported in the vicini- ? ty of the Argentine naval base and grain port?at Bahia Blanca. Two of the Argen- tines' four Guppy-class diesel submarines gave futile chase to what they thought was the Superb; the British submarine can run silent and deep for weeks, while the Gup- ? pies must surface for air frequently. The 'Argentines may have been chasing shad- ows. A U.S. inteUlemce reeort concluded last week that no Britiguutaarzincumuid : arrive of Argentina until the weekend. I There is little doubt that once Britain's subs take up position they can easily cut ? the sea lanes between Argentina and Falklands. Washington analysts estimase ? COATLYCIEZI For Release 2007/05/03: CIA-RDP84M00127R000100060006-6 Approved For. Release 2007/(NalrAtRP8flynliiiRieffil 00060006-6 thae the Be:rah COtikl deploy four subnearhaes in the area, each one nuclear-powered but probably not - n ucleaearmed. The question was whether , Britain would permit unre- submarine warfare, a course no nation has taken since World Wet IL ? If the see lanes are cut, Ar- gentina will have to resupply the Fareliirde with its seven ag- ing C-130s. In an air war the Arra:eines. seem to hold the edge. Each of the two British carriers probably is crammed with twice the normal comple- ment of five Se:a Harrier FRSINS: I jump jets, able to take off and land almost verti- cally. In combat each pf the twenty Sea Harriers is a matr.h for one of Argentina's 82 old A4 Skyitawks. But the Harrier's flight radius of238 miles is far less than the 700-mile radius of the A-43. The Argentines have pcsitioned A4s within con:toot renee at their Rio Gallegos air base and aboard the IInticinco de Mayo as well as on the Stanley airstrip. The A.-ger:tines also have nine Canberra bo iin'oers, five Eten- dards and 21 ?villages, some configured as interceptors and others for surface attack. ntt'iE.rcept fornumbers, however, Argentina's air arsenalhas some distinct lia- b Hides. The A-43 at its backbone are for the most part poorly maintained, according to offic4-0., Those that fly are not equipped with stand-off vreapons and thus must divebomb into the teeth of British mis- sile bare-- 3. Mats going to be suicidal,'? says aPen Ligon expert. TheAreentines may have trouble simply finding their quarry on the bread ccean: only one P-2 reconnais- sance plane is available to their southern zone. According to one U.S. intelligence renort, tneeoviet LJuioa,amajorAxgentl?e trad?g carmen has ?aced-intelligence on the ritisle fleet, swelled by Soviet sat* tea. by 35 Soviet nintemertslairs in the area _and by BEAR lone-ranee reeo -aircraft :!.ving out of Arno laand Cube- - The Arg=thaes Can only guess hove vig- orously the British intend to press the bat- tle..In a brief, intense wars. U.S. military: experts far:miler with both foram believe that Britain would win. Rickety and per- haps broken down, theVeinticineo de Mayo is a s'ciag duck for British submarines. Short of attacking the carrier directly, the subs could sc..= the vessel away from the Argentine force, fixing gmea fares to warn the captain that the ship is in British sights. Or the British could sink Argentina's lone ? tanker, forcing the carrier to choose-be- tween returning to port or running out of fuel. Without the Vein ticinco de Mayo and 2 the iiir cover it provides, the British could 1 entries. "It is very ungentlemanly not tot .bomb the runway at St:may and put a stran- I shake hands," Garda said. mint replied: ?glehold on the Falklaruis. "They literelly I "It's very uncivilized. of you to invade our could sail right into port," says retired U.S. t country." ? ! Rear Adm. Clarence 1E11. I T'eatcher's own care-a?rode on the fate of ? e? Simple military superiority does not give 1 the Falklands. Second-guessers in and out Britain cartebanchein theFalklands. Such' of the Tory camp demanded to know how vagaries as the weather could ruin the Brit- her government had hem caught off guard ish miss' Ulm as win terstorms and heavy seas by Argentina of all countries, a prime But- in the South Atlantic, .Brimin's isle espionage target for years. A British ?sreall Carden may have to curtail oper- surveillance station on Ascension monitors ations.The longer the Argentines can hold naval communications in the South Adan-; .ont, them= the British will feel the pinch ! tic_ As a NATO any Britain also has of the long supply line tnAscension. The I access to U.S. intelg.are, informa_ - British couldkeep up a full-strength block- I tion, melt= g data from listening 7ade Of the Falklands for only two months, posts tii the Panama Canal Zone and 'estimatesCollonathanAlfortlofLondon's . tram Vinite Cloud "3i les. Full of International Institute for Strategic Stud- I political dissidents. Arg..mnna Is a: it& Even if they retake the Falklands: the I hotbed of hint,ee sties as well. And. British must rtninteln a sizable occupaticm 1 president Craltieri had trade no par-i force to hold on to their colony. "They've . ticidar secret of his own designs: thet got to be prepared to accept losses and an right-wing populist was quoted ast, esstendisi effort," says retired U.S. Adm. . guaranteeing that the Falklands, a: Thomas MOO= "They won't go down British colony for 149 years, wouldf there, go ashore, raise theBrir:sh flag and go never celebrate its 150th anniversary. back to London." ... --; ? Fallouts After the debacle, Fleet' 1- A prolonged naval commitment in that Street headlined Britain's streenee-? - (South Atlantic would stet. ch Britain's con-! Dee?and in one poll eight out of tea ? Ventional fleet just when it is scheduled for Britons blamed Thatcher for the loss! . deeper cuts to make Mom in Thatcher's1 of the?Falkands. The fallout steickl budget for Trident nuclear ntleeles. The i quickly at the heart of Thatches : Carrier Invincibleis up forma to Australia. 1 Admtration when Lord Carring- : The Hermes is destined for the scrap heap.! ton, her Fonign Se=-t-ry, took the Five hundred sailors in the flotilla have blarneformisrenlingthesignaLsil-orn.: received their walking papers. ? . -. -6 Argentina and resigned along with ; I. Targets The political restraints on Lon- . two junior ministers, "I have been ! ? don are also formidable. The government responsible for the conduct of that.. can hardly permit a rescue mission that policy, and I think it right that 1 i ? ends up by wiping out Stanley and the should resign," Caxringten - wrote ; helpers. Instead, the British may storm the Thatcher, adding that the invasion oft sParselYPoPulated South Georgia Wanda, a the Falklands "has been a humiliatinrafl Fanclancis dependency 300 miles to the east, t front to this country.". .. asasafertarget on which to plant the Union I when the opposition i,enehes also greet_ Jack and establish astaging area for negoti- ed Thatcher with hearty new mien of "Re. ations. The British must consider theI sign" and "Get out," the Prime Minister risks of thrashing Argentina too soundly. responded with a defiant "No," adding: Peru already has offered Argentina milit=7 1, "Now is the time for strength and support, and and most other Latin American I don." She refused Notes proffered resig- nations at least rhetoi-ically support Argm-; nation as well, and the Defense Secretary tine's stand. If Britain strikes too hard, Says Crac-ged as the gar-ailment's point man in oneLondon military analyst, "suddenly the: the crisis. Edging close to a declaration of Argentines would have friends they haven't war against Argentiaa, Nott announced a had in 25 years." re-:-.: ? '.-- :en 200 nautical-mile "maritime ? exclusion Mettles For all the Inherent dangers, zone" designed to :deny the Argentine Margaret Thatcher was committed to re' . forces on the Falklands means of reinforce- claim the Falklands. The British mettle .ment and resupply frons the maireanc. toughened when the deposed governor of . The next day Nott declared that Britain the colony, former Spitfire pilot Rex Hunt. I would not hesitate to shoot first. At Brit- and hisRoyal Marines returned to England ain's urging. France, West Germany and with tales of their last stand ageing other European countries cut off arms odds. TheArgentines, who fired only warn- shipments to Argentina. The Common ? ing shots at the British, concede that four market also responded by imposing a corn_ Argentines died in battle. But the British piete ban on Argentine imports and arms rnatitteS claimed a higher body omit. They. sales. ordinary Britons and the Home of said they had fired 6,450 srnall-arms rounds Commons restaurant helped out by boy- and thirteen and-tank missiles at the ad--: coning Argentines major =port to their vancing enemy, blowing up an Argentine , country; corned beee armored car and hitting a naval corvette.. :The Arg,mtines didn't seem to ;isten___ ' surrendered from a hiding place in a cave. Then the last six marines, cold and hungry, urrend F. ,CclArrENTM:f Governor Hunt surrendered to Argentine , Gee. Oswaldo Jorge Garcia without pleas- ? Approved For Release 2007/05/03 ? CIA-RDP84M00127R000100060006-6 Approved For Release 2007/05/03: CIA-RDP84M00127R000100060.006-6 . .2 ton also fears that other old boundary dis- ; agreemen ts around the world revive. A militant new Argentina could press its claim on Chile for sovereignty over Islands' in the Beagle Channel dividing the two na- ? dons. Venezuela could move on Guyana. ' 'The Guatemalans are licking their chops, wondering if this is the time to take:Belize." said one U.S. officiaL At Gibraltar, Britain and Spain postponed negotiations over nue control of themes. Dinnexe More disturbing was the way Argentina's invasion of the Falklands had: cast doubt on a key precise of Reagan's ! policy: that by emphasizing common inter- I 4:513 with non.canimuniat "authoritarian" 1 regimes like South Africa, Gnat,anala and Argentina, the United States can better 1 combat "totalitarian" communism?and moderate the excesses of friendly din.; tators. The Administration suffered some embarrassmmc when an author of the poli. bag." .he said. He apparently left without cy, U.N. Ambassador Jenne Kirkpatri and w.-al about methodically setting France and Spain share sover-1 up houseon theMakrinas, =they call eignty over that Pyrenees na-; the F.aiklands. The islands' new gov- tion.Haig also conceived a plan ernor, Brig. Gen. Mario Benjamin under which Canada, the Unit- lylenerider. wasinstalled in Puerto de ed Ste tm and two Latin Ameri- las T.sles Malvinas, as Stanley was re- can countries might administer; n nxn ed. Menindez speaks no English, theFalklands whileBritain and' but he assured the kelpers through an Argentina tried to negotiate a terpreterthat hehad "deer instruc- permanent solution. But the Lions to respect in all forms possible domestic political stakes were, [their) way of life." Nonetheless, enormous for both Thatr'eer helpers were ordered to remain in- and Galtieri. Neither was pre- doors or risk a fifteen-day jail sen- pared to give even the appear- tenCe. All "inconsiderate" act toward ance of backing down. "One of the Argentine military was worth 30 the two governments in this days.Art "irreverent act" toward Ar- thing has to fall," said a U.S. gmtina's 'patriotic symbols" would official. . . ? ; ? earn 60 days in jaiL Islanders =us; On his arrival:in London . torned to driving on th e left side of the Haig insisted that he had come road bad to contend with Argentine as a listener and messenger. .tanks and armored cars that insisted don't have any.Atnericart-ap- on bearing to theright.And theFalk- proved solution in thy kit lands' postal stamps?the latest lea- taring the wedding of Prince Charles and. Lady Diana?were declared any solutions, either. If anything, the Brit- atteruied a dinner party in her honor given : ? lab and had stiffened. Thatcher and her by the Az-patine ambassador new Foreign Secretary, Francis Pym, ada- in washington?on the very . Haggling: From the start of the. -mainly refused to negotiate until Argen- day Argentine commandos Falklands furor. Argentina and Brit- tine troops pulled out- of the Falklands. stormed into S tanley. "It's abit sin had both tamed to the United They also reins' ed to concede Argentine difficult to uaderstand the no- States as a go-between. But Haig sovereignty over the F-alidands in return tion that authoritarian regains launched his shuttle mission only after the requisite Washington haggling-The trouble began on invasion night, when Reagan tele- phoned Galtieri and suggested Vice Presi- dent George Bush "or som eone !lice that" as a mediator. The perceived snub rankled Haig. according to State Department sources. To pre-empt the President and head off Bush, Haig privately offered him- self as an intermediary to the British and gmtine ambassadors and to Argentine Fardgn. Minister Nicanor Costa Mader. The ploy woricecL At .i White House ramt- for continued British control. And they listened only when Haig argued that the Royal Navy should riot take the aggresaive step of sinking Argentine ships without chanter= regimes by this =- warning.- ample have shown themselves Argentina stood just as adamantly to be exactly what they are-- against giving up the Malvinas as long as railitaristic, impulsive and ag- ; Britain claimed them. On his arrival in gressive." It will now take an Buenos Aires, Haig said that the Reagan abundance of good sense to Administration's new entente with Argen- ? keep those impulses from lend. tins provided a "good basis" bra negotiat- Lug to war. ed solution. But he offended some of his 1 ? STIVEVSTRASSER with TONY are all right," said Britain's am- ! baesador to Washington, Sir , Nicholas Henderson. "An- I hosts by citing the T.L.N. resolution ratting crarrom szrx MYDANS and , lug six days after the Argentine invasion. forArgentina's withdrawal and by labeling; - aicaeitmsAr4ozA in 173044C4i . . Reagan was handed a cable from Thatcher 1 the nation a "hemispheric partner" rather V . .1101-9ERIENSEN in Comodora requesting Haig's mediation--and the I than a U.S. friend. In talk% with Haig,the 1 vaLCOT ise Davit; c. :'4ARTDI AT'in Washington President gave his Secretary of State the Argentines floated their compromise offer ? .s. - -..? ? ... - ? assignment. "Haig had a deep anxiety to for a troop withdrawal and negotiations if go," said a ridded White House staffer.-"He : the British held back their fleet and recog- nized Argentine sovereignty over the is- wanted to go." .:-?"- ? :;?.-1.:...- lands?two major concessions. On princi:- gong R?onc. After preliminary talks in ple. Argentina rejected the Hong Kong Washington, Haig concluded that neither and Andorra solutions. "That might have Argentina nor Britain really wanted war. Th eArg,en tines, apparently surprised by the strength of the British reaction, were espe- cially eager far a compromise.British diplo- been acceptable five or ten years ago," an Argentine official said. "But after seven- teen years of negotiations, its not." ? Any hostilities could seriously isolate the mats in Washington also ealaressed interest United States in 113 awn hemisphere. "If an in some kind of plan providing for British Argentine shi9 g9es down, forget it, then all ? "administration" of the Falklands under of Latin America will coalesce around Ar- Arimitine"sovereignty.".A.sirnilar solution Sentinar said a White House aide. The I resolved Britain's dispute with China over Administration worried that the Latin na- Hong Kong, andBritain andArgernina also lions might try to use the 1947 Rio Treaty agreed on the formula last year?until the ; against Britain. It provides for united ef- kepers vetoed the deal in order to remain forts to repulse outside intervention in the perpetualBritielasubjects.Asanalternative, Americas. The United States can hardly some diplomats advocated an "Andorra so- 1 ally itself against Britain; but to recce a Rio lation"sirailarto the arrangementby which., Treaty bid would do serious to U.S. .relations in its own hemisphere. Washing- Approved For Release 2007/05/03 : CIA-RDP84M00127R000100060006-6 ? Approved For Release 2007/05/03: CIA-RDP84M00127R0001G.0060006-6 Annromad For Release 2007/05/03 : CIA-RDP84M00127R000100060006-6