Dr Aaron Donaghy is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of History in University College Dublin. His forthcoming book, The British Government and the Falkland Islands 1974-79, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in January 2014.
For years, historians have cast British policy as one of consistent, weak appeasement prior to the Falklands War, encouraging Argentine leaders to stake everything on an invasion. Drawing on recently declassified government files, private papers and interviews, the book shatters this popular notion. It argues that through a combination of preventative diplomacy and robust defence planning, the Labour government succeeded in maintaining peace, avoiding the fate of its Tory successors.
The mid to late 1970s marked the most dangerous period prior to the war. The Argentine occupation of Southern Thule, withdrawal of ambassadors, attacks on ships and secret deployments tell only part of the story.
Uncovering remarkable evidence, the book explains how misconceptions about Britain’s naval deployment in the South Atlantic in 1977 would have fatal consequences for policymaking in March 1982. This groundbreaking study of how the British government confronted Argentina will provide a new understanding of the immediate origins of the Falklands War.
Aaron’s primary research interests include twentieth century British history and the history of international relations, particularly Anglo-American relations. He has lectured in international history at UCD, and is now beginning a new research project based on Anglo-American relations during the late 1970s and early 80s.