WI: The US sides with Argentina during the Falklands War?

If I remember correctly, I read about an attemp by the Secretary of State Haig to convince President Reagan to side with Argentina during the Falklands War. Assuming the Sec managed to do that, what would happen? Would it be a strictly diplomatic move by the US or how would they get involved in the War?
 
At least relationships of UK and USA would are ruined and Reagan would be seen as bad president. Not totally terrible but still bad in cooperwation with important allies. It is even possible that UK is not going help USA on its interventions.
 
The US Intelligence community and the DoD all beat a door to the Oval Office to change his mind. The potential loss of UK bases and intelligence co-operation would be catastrophic.

To quote a historical example, the Heath Government briefly turned off co-operation between the NSA and GCHQ over objections to US policy. Within 24 hours the NSA was going nuts, demanding that the President sort it now.
 

WILDGEESE

Gone Fishin'
If I remember correctly, I read about an attemp by the Secretary of State Haig to convince President Reagan to side with Argentina during the Falklands War. Assuming the Sec managed to do that, what would happen? Would it be a strictly diplomatic move by the US or how would they get involved in the War?

Personally it's a bloody disaster!

1) It gives a green light to every tin pot dictatorship that they can invade a sovereign nations turf . . . and get away with it with the US's blessing. Not only do the Falklands go, Guatamala goes into Belize and Spain goes into Gib.

2) NATO is fubarred!

The anger in the UK in the UK about the US selling out one of it's closest Allies would be palpable. Thatcher would probably lose the 83' GE (depending on wether we'd be able to actually send a Task Force South without the backing of the US and the UN) letting in a militant left Labour Govt' The UK would remove itself from NATO blowing a big hole in the alliance as the US looses a lot of bases and then runs around like headless chickens as they try to find replacements on the rest of Europe.

3) The USSR laughs their socks off as the US has suddenly blown a hole in the entire alliances credibility encouraging them to push the limits more.

Regards filers.
 
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Why in God’s name would Regan think breaking up NATO for some third world dictatorship was a good idea? At BEST you’d get public neutrality, even if the USA still leaks a bit to the UK. Anything more then that and people in the government would be publicly questioning the president’s mental state. Military Intervention on Argentina’s behalf is a fantasy dream, and one the JCS would slap down hard with “and what bases in Northern Europe can the Argentinians offer us to uphold our commitment to NATO?”
 
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Britain would still attempt to retake the islands, and succeed most likely but the higher the cost in British blood the higher the hatred of the USA in Britain and that would not be good. NATO is toast for a start.
 
If I remember correctly, I read about an attemp by the Secretary of State Haig to convince President Reagan to side with Argentina during the Falklands War. Assuming the Sec managed to do that, what would happen? Would it be a strictly diplomatic move by the US or how would they get involved in the War?
Are you confusing Alexander Haig with Jeane Kirkpatrick?

AIUI Haig was the most pro-British member of American Cabinet while Kirkpatrick was the one that supported the Argentines.
 
Are you confusing Alexander Haig with Jeane Kirkpatrick?

AIUI Haig was the most pro-British member of American Cabinet while Kirkpatrick was the one that supported the Argentines.
It's been quite a while, but I thought I read Haigs name with the proposal. Maybe the source , which I don't really remember, was dodgy. But still I had to think about the scenario today and wanted to hear, what your opinions on such an betrayal of british trust would be!
 

Nick P

Donor
Great Britain limits provision of military intelligence to the US, abrogating the Five-Eyes agreement. I don't see Canada, New Zealand and Australia being too upset with this immediately.
We could also restrict entry to the various US staffed intelligence bases in the UK (Menwith Hill, Croughton, MoD) and mutter things about flying rights treaties at places like Diego Garcia, Ascension Island and the numerous UK bases. Perhaps it's also time to look at the need for submarine basing at Holy Loch and Faslane?

We can follow this up with the threat of unplugging all UK intelligence sources from NATO after the Falklands Conflict is over. We need whatever they can get while the fight is on, and we did get a lot of help from all corners. NATO as a whole would be rather upset at the loss of UK provided intelligence.
Other European countries with overseas territories (France, Spain, Portugal etc) will have their own nervous twitches at the thought of the United States not supporting them if they had the same issue as in the South Atlantic.

At this point every NATO country will be looking askew at the US Government and wondering if impeaching Reagan is possible...
 
Great Britain limits provision of military intelligence to the US, abrogating the Five-Eyes agreement. I don't see Canada, New Zealand and Australia being too upset with this immediately.
We could also restrict entry to the various US staffed intelligence bases in the UK (Menwith Hill, Croughton, MoD) and mutter things about flying rights treaties at places like Diego Garcia, Ascension Island and the numerous UK bases. Perhaps it's also time to look at the need for submarine basing at Holy Loch and Faslane?

We can follow this up with the threat of unplugging all UK intelligence sources from NATO after the Falklands Conflict is over. We need whatever they can get while the fight is on, and we did get a lot of help from all corners. NATO as a whole would be rather upset at the loss of UK provided intelligence.
Other European countries with overseas territories (France, Spain, Portugal etc) will have their own nervous twitches at the thought of the United States not supporting them if they had the same issue as in the South Atlantic.

At this point every NATO country will be looking askew at the US Government and wondering if impeaching Reagan is possible...
The leadership of some nations might also begin to quietly think about withdrawing from the NPT, and might quietly communicate their possible plans to the US, in the hope that the US might change its behavior.

The UK might also begin to think about how their Polaris replacement project could be a UK only project (or at least not involve any US technology.)
 
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Marc

Donor
We weren't that fascist in the 1980's.
Sorry, we either ignored or aided or abetted too much horror in Argentina for this to be anything less than a less than zero scenario for the United States
.
 

WILDGEESE

Gone Fishin'
The leadership of some nations might also begin to quietly think about withdrawing from the NPT, and might quietly communicate their possible plans to the US, in the hope that the US might change its behavior.

The UK might also begin to think about how their Polaris replacement project could be a UK only project (or at least not involve any US technology.)

A quick tie-up (funding for R&D) with the French regarding their future M45 then M51 missiles I presume

Regards filer
 
The scenario is borderline ASB for all the reasons given by other posters. But still worth examining.

Would the US back Argentina's claim to the Malvinas and actively oppose any diplomatic and military efforts by the UK to reclaim them? It could definitely sink the RN Task Force with one CVBG or send strike aircraft to Argentine bases. End result the break up of NATO, possibly election of far left governments in the UK and parts of Europe. Nationalisation of US assets etc. Would Reagan be impeached then?

US formal neutrality and pressure on the UK to reach face saving terms with Argentina are more likely. Still tricky as Thatcher was pretty determined to get the Falklands back
After the Task Force has sailed it's Back Her - or Lose Her. Failure to support the UK will be noted and held against the US by her or the next government. Especially if the effort fails and even more British lives lost


Is the support of Latin American dictators worth risking losing the UK as an ally?

Ask that and you know why Kirkpatrick was put firmly back in her box
 
If I remember correctly, I read about an attemp by the Secretary of State Haig to convince President Reagan to side with Argentina during the Falklands War. Assuming the Sec managed to do that, what would happen? Would it be a strictly diplomatic move by the US or how would they get involved in the War?

Why would they do that?

What's in it for them?

The UK was their most important ally during the Cold war and did a lot more trade with the USA than Argentina did?

As others have pointed out Haig went to Argentina to try and get them to see reason

He was told by the Junta that Britain would not fight because
  1. They were not as brave as the Argentinians (Yep those shotgun armed famers...shhheesshhh!!!)
  2. The British had not fought a war since WW2 (Yes these were apparently military officers)
  3. They were led by a weak and feeble woman (Just to be clear in case it was not obvious enough this weak and feeble woman was Margaret Thatcher and as it turned out she had bigger testicles than they did)
Haig upon being told this and after he had rescued his jaw from the ground returned to Reagan and told him that the Junta were crazier than a shit house rat
 

Garrison

Donor
Basically this really is ASB because barring the intervention of supernatural forces I cannot imagine Ronald Reagan let alone his cabinet deciding to throw such a massive spanner in the works as far as NATO goes. There is nothing for the USA to gain by making such a decision and a great deal to lose.
 

cpip

Gone Fishin'
I suppose the closest thing that could likely happen would be back-channel efforts to get Thatcher to stand down and submit the whole thing to arbitration and the UN. I'm not going to venture on how balanced the US/UK relationship was that either side could really afford to say entirely "NO" to the other if they wanted to make a stand, though.
 
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