Case 137 - Negotiations Concerning the Falklands/Malvinas Dispute: Part A: Breakdown of Negotiations Part B: The Haig Mediation Effort
Lippincot, Don and Gregory F. Treverton
On April 2, 1982, Argentine forces overran the Malvinas Islands, which the British call the Falklands, triggering a confrontation over possession of the South Atlantic territory. Part A of this case study presents a historical account of this dispute, from the late 17th-century through the invasion. Part B recounts Secretary of State Alexander Haig’s arduous mediation efforts, as he shuttled between London, Buenos Aires, and Washington. This case raises issues involving problems of negotiating “under the gun” and the dilemmas faced by negotiators and mediators in crisis situations. The two parts can be used separately or together, and might usefully be paired with other case studies involving regional disputes. In their original form, they were used to examine policy (British, Argentine, and American, in this case) toward a regional security problem, in order to understand how governments assess each other.