Conventional Deterrence and the Falkland Islands Conflict
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Conventional deterrence failed to prevent open warfare between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands sovereignty issue. This thesis investigates the basic principles underlying conventional deterrence, and then applies those principles to the case study of the Falkland Islands conflict in order to discover why. This is accomplished by examining British political and military planning for the South Atlantic region from 1965-1982 for its ability to leverage effective deterrent threats against Argentina. Psychological factors concerning the rational actor model and their impact upon Britains capacity to issue deterrent threats against Argentina are also discussed. These two factors are then used to analyze Britains credibility and reputation in the South Atlantic Region and their effects upon Britains deterrence posture. All these factors are then taken into account when analyzing the costbenefit calculus of both Britain and Argentina. Thus, Britains political and military planning, combined with severe psychological limitations, decreased its regional credibility and reputation, which severely undercut its ability to affect Argentinas costbenefit analysis. This is why conventional deterrence failed in the Falkland Islands conflict.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics