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54. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (Iklé) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Carlucci)1

SUBJECT

  • Argentinian Invasion of Falkland Islands (U)—INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

(C) The following points are in addition to the information in today’s NID 2 and on the attached memo:3

1. I talked to Walt Stoessel to make sure we are in synchronization with what State and the White House are doing. As you probably have learned now, the President got in touch with Argentine President Galtieri yesterday4 trying to dissuade the Argentinians and consideration was also given to sending the Vice President. But apparently these initiatives were unsuccessful.

2. Tom Hayward who was on a tour to Latin America was told yesterday that there was going to be a landing, and therefore decided to leave Buenos Aires for Brazil.5 It is obviously the right decision that the CNO should not be visiting Argentina at this time.

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3. I am concerned that this Argentinian action will make it more difficult for us to work with the Argentinians on Central American issues and to overcome Congressional opposition to IMET funding for Argentina. Also, there could be a spillover from the undoubtedly strong negative British reaction toward the Argentinians to the pervasive West European hostility toward our Central American policy. The left in Europe will be quick to make connection between Argentina and the governments that we happen to support in Central America. I feel, therefore, that we in DoD and the Services ought to use all our influence to reinforce the Administration’s effort to dampen down this conflict.

4. We have to consider further steps, in particular whether to go ahead with General Allen’s visit April 12 and your stop in Argentina last week of April.6

Fred C. Ikle 7
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330–84–0003, Argentina (Jan–15 May) 1982. Secret. A stamped notation in the bottom right-hand corner of the memorandum indicates that Carlucci saw it on April 2. A stamped notation in the top right-hand corner of the memorandum indicates that Weinberger saw it on April 5.
  2. An article on “Argentine–UK” was in the April 2 National Intelligence Daily. (Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Support Services (DI), Job 84T0030IR; Intelligence Pub Files (1982), Box 2, Folder 1: National Intelligence Daily)
  3. Attached but not printed is an April 2 memorandum from Koch to Iklé, in which Koch offered preliminary thoughts on the Department of Defense role in the U.S. reaction to events in the Falklands/Malvinas. Koch asserted: “We should let State get out front on this issue, because it’s not going to end with both parties happy with the interlocutor. We at Defense (at least in ISA) have a peculiar interest in not irritating Argentina. In South America, finally, it is the military-to-military relationship that matters—not State to Foreign Ministries.” “The argument for a strong U.S. response to Argentina,” he continued, “is that if we do it correctly (and we consult privately with Argentina about what we’re doing and why), then we may strengthen our hand with Congress on Humphrey-Kennedy and benefit Argentina in the end. One argument the other way is that we will get accused of trying to play policeman in the Western Hemisphere. Another is we will likely have no effect (a result of the Carter Administration proving to Argentina they can survive with U.S. disapproval), and the impression of U.S. impotence in its own backyard will be reinforced.” (Washington National Records Center, OSD Files, FRC 330–84–0003, Argentina (Jan–15 May) 1982)
  4. See Document 41.
  5. Presumably a mistaken reference to the April 2 Anaya-Hayward meeting. See Document 44.
  6. Iklé placed two parallel lines in the left-hand margin next to this paragraph.
  7. Iklé signed “Fred” above his typed signature.