CIA had secret plan to give Falkland Islands to Argentina and relocate islanders to Scotland

Plans call for appropriate penalty after Argentinians 'used armed force to seek to settle an international dispute'

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The Independent Online

The US had plans to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina and relocate the islanders to Scotland, secret CIA papers reveal.

Titled "Solution to the Falkland Islands crisis," the paper appears to suggest the intelligence agency thought the UK would lose the 1982 conflict.

It was written by Henry Rowen, then head of the National Intelligence Council, and are part of 12 million formerly-classified papers released by the CIA this week.

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“For a period of three years the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will be given a chance to consider whether they wish to remain on the Falkland Islands or whether they wish to relocate to an area of British jurisdiction, either in the UK or elsewhere under British sovereignty, with a relocation grant of $100,000 per person," Mr Rowen wrote.

“It is likely that many residents will find this sufficient inducement to relocate to some other area, perhaps in Scotland or elsewhere where conditions may be similar to the Falkland Islands.”

He adds: “Any residents who do not wish to relocate will be free to remain and become Argentinian citizens at the end of three years.

“The cost of the relocation grants to be paid to any residents of the Falkland Islands wishing to relocate elsewhere will be borne fifty/fifty by the Argentinian and British governments.”

The plans were addressed to Paul Wolfowitz, a Department of State advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

They also called for "some appropriate penalty upon the Argentinians for having used armed force to seek to settle an international dispute."

The United Kingdom retained the islands at a cost of the lives of more than 900 British, Argentine and Falkland Islander lives.

The outcome of the war prompted large protests against Argentina's military junta, leading to its downfall. In 1994, Argentina's claim to the territories was added to its constitution.

In a referendum on Falkland Islands sovereignty in 2013, 99.8 per cent voted to remain a British territory — with only three votes against.

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