Hmmm?

US may have accidentally helped to start Falklands war by encouraging Argentinians to invade islands, admits ex-CIA chief

  • CIA boss William Casey voiced concerns over  Argentina’s confidence in US
  • Washington admitted they might have  inadvertently encouraged Argentina

By  Brendan Carlin, Mail on Sunday Political Reporter

PUBLISHED: 19:00 EST, 29  December 2012 |  UPDATED: 19:00 EST, 29 December 2012

 

The Americans admitted they may have  inadvertently encouraged the Argentinians to invade the Falkland Islands, it  emerged last night.

The former head of the CIA privately  confessed that Argentina may wrongly have believed its  support for US  covert operations in Central  America would mean Washington’s  ‘acquiescence’ for the 1982 invasion.

In fact, despite friction between London and  Washington, the Pentagon provided vital behind-the-scenes support for the  British military to retake the islands.

Classified: Former CIA chief William Casey pictured here with President Ronald Reagan, was concerned that the US might have given Argentina a false sense of security over the Falklands invasion 

Classified: Former CIA chief William Casey pictured here  with President Ronald Reagan, was concerned that the US might have given  Argentina a false sense of security over the Falklands invasion

But newly declassified files reveal  fears at  the heart of US intelligence that a misunderstanding over US  foreign policy  could have led Buenos Aires to believe an invasion would  not upset  Washington.

Just over a month after the Argentinian  surrender in June 1982, Sir Nicholas Henderson – then about to retire as UK  ambassador in Washington –  recalled conversations with CIA director William  Casey in a ‘valedictory telegram’ to his Foreign Office bosses in London.

Sir Nicholas wrote: ‘It is relevant that Mr  William Casey, the head of the  CIA, who was closely concerned in Cabinet  discussion on this subject,  has implied to us privately that he thinks the  Argentinians may well  have been led up the wrong path.

 

‘They may have believed that their support  for the US in covert operations in Central America was more important to the US  than in fact it was, and could be expected to earn them American acquiescence in  forward policy elsewhere.’

 

Sir Nicholas also recalled handing US  Secretary of State Alexander Haig a piece of paper detailing British evidence of  Argentina’s intention to invade on April 2, 1982.

He said: ‘Mr Haig’s reaction to the  information I had given him was electric.’

Sir Nicholas added: ‘He wanted us to win and  would have been horrified if the Argentinians had got away with it.’

Misunderstanding: Files reveal that the then Ambassador to the US Sir Nicholas Henderson (right) had recalled conversations in Washington where CIA voiced concerns about their relationship with Argentina 

Misunderstanding: Files reveal that the then Ambassador  to the US Sir Nicholas Henderson (right) had recalled conversations in  Washington where CIA voiced concerns about their relationship with  Argentina.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254755/US-accidentally-helped-start-Falklands-war-encouraging-Argentinians-invade-island-admits-ex-CIA-chief.html#ixzz2Ga0FPC4I Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook