Miller Center

Falklands War Roundtable

The Presidential Oral History Program conducted the "Falklands Roundtable" in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary British History (ICBH) on May 15 and 16, 2003, in Washington, D.C. The Falklands Roundtable was the second of a two-part series sponsored by the Miller Center in conjunction with the ICBH. The first session was held in June 2002, outside of London, on the 20th anniversary of the Falklands War. Major figures from the Thatcher government and the British military shared their perspectives on the war at a "Witness Seminar" organized by the ICBH.

The Falklands Roundtable was designed to capture the recollections of key participants from the Reagan administration who were involved in the Falklands crisis. The Falklands War tested the "special relationship" between the United States and Great Britain, and in particular it strained the partnership of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. The transcript of the Roundtable provides scholars and students a deeper understanding of the relationship between the United States and Great Britain, between the United States and Latin America, and of the foreign policy of the Reagan years.

The participants included former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger; Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; David Gompert, a key member of Alexander Haig's mediation team who served as the deputy to the under secretary for political affairs, Lawrence Eagleburger; Harry Shlaudeman, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina; Edward Streator, the deputy chief of mission at the Court of St. James; General Paul Gorman, who was assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of the Falklands crisis; Admiral Thomas Hayward, the chief of naval operations from 1978-1982; and Admiral Harry Train, the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Atlantic Command and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

The roundtable was co-chaired by Stephen Knott (Miller Center, Virginia) and Kathleen Burk (University of London). Other interviewers were James Sterling Young (Miller Center, Virginia), Harriet Jones (ICBH), Michael Kandiah (ICBH), Christopher Collins (Margaret Thatcher Foundation), and Michael Parsons (University of Pau, France).

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