Archive (Reagan Library)

Falklands: Reagan telegram to Thatcher (victory congratulations & need for "a just peace") [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: White House
Source: Reagan Library: Executive Secretariat NSC Head of State File
Editorial comments: Despatched 1520 GMT 18 June 1982. A note in the file (Dennis Blair & Roger Fontaine (NSC) for Clark, 17 June 1982) records: "While preserving the policy contents of the State [Department] draft, we have rewritten it to make the congratulations in the first paragraph less equivocal, and to increase the impact of the three elements of the long-term peace in the second paragraph."
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 171 words
Themes: Defence (Falklands), Foreign policy (USA), MT contacts with Ronald Reagan

Declassified S98-001#1
By dIb, NARA, Date 6/30/00


Dear Margaret:

Let me extend my congratulations on the success of British arms in the South Atlantic. Your victory was both a brilliant military feat and a defense of our shared principle that disputes are not to be resolved by aggression. The minimum loss of life and the generous terms of withdrawal were also in the finest British tradition.

A just war requires a just peace. We look forward to consulting with you and to assisting in building such a peace. It must of course take into account the sacrifices of your men in battle. Its elements in my judgement must include enhancement of the long-term security of the South Atlantic, mitigation of Argentine hostility and improvement in the relations of both our countries with Latin America.

It was good to be with you in Paris, London and Bonn.

Warm regards,