The Falklands War understanding the power of context in shaping Argentine strategic decisions
Nietzel, Scott C.
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This thesis uses a historical case study approach to examine the impact of context on shaping decision making during the conduct of war. The case analyzed is the war between Argentina and Great Britain for control of the Falkland Islands in 1982. This thesis examines the relative strength of the belligerents' positions using the concepts of force, time and space from current operational warfare doctrine and shows that British victory in the conflict was by no means a foregone conclusion. Next, an exploration of Argentine conduct of the war highlights and discusses in detail mistakes and errors in judgment that had direct impacts on battlefield results. These decisions are then traced to the context in which they were made. It is this context, specifically the power of limited war culture and to a lesser extent the strength of the military polity as a constituency, that explains the Argentine defeat in the Falklands.
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