The other day, I came across an article by Samuel Osborne in the Independent, “CIA had secret plan to give Falkland Islands to Argentina and relocate islanders to Scotland.” In it, Osborne describes American thinking on a settlement of the Falklands War assuming–as was entirely possible–an Argentine victory.
“For a period of three years the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will be given a chance to consider whether they wish to remain on the Falkland Islands or whether they wish to relocate to an area of British jurisdiction, either in the UK or elsewhere under British sovereignty, with a relocation grant of $100,000 per person,” Mr Rowen wrote.
“It is likely that many residents will find this sufficient inducement to relocate to some other area, perhaps in Scotland or elsewhere where conditions may be similar to the Falkland Islands.”
He adds: “Any residents who do not wish to relocate will be free to remain and become Argentinian citizens at the end of three years.
“The cost of the relocation grants to be paid to any residents of the Falkland Islands wishing to relocate elsewhere will be borne fifty/fifty by the Argentinian and British governments.”
The plans were addressed to Paul Wolfowitz, a Department of State advisor to President Ronald Reagan.
They also called for “some appropriate penalty upon the Argentinians for having used armed force to seek to settle an international dispute.”
This sort of intermediate phase of British rule under Argentine sovereignty, followed by a complete reversion to Argentine sovereignty, seems like a plausible outcome assuming that the United Kingdom had decisively lost the contest to control the islands. Is it? What price would Argentina be forced to pay for its conquest of the Falklands? And how would this–the acquisition of the islands, also the cost of their acquisition imposed by the United States–complicate the democratic transition in Argentina of our timeline in the 1980s?