Hegemony, Terror, Death and Disappearances: U.S. Foreign Policy in Argentina, 1976-1981


Hunter Hale

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Spring 2020


This thesis will present a diplomatic and political history of the United States' engagement with the Argentinean junta between the Coup of 1976 and 1981. It demonstrates how Operation Condor revealed strife and competition between U.S. agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department highlighting shifts in foreign policy during the Carter Administration. Additionally, this strife reveals that the State Department and CIA were forced to contend with a government which often ignored U.S. requests and became a liability. In order to accomplish this task, the thesis will utilize recently declassified State Department documents, CIA reports and memos, as well as documents retrieved by American agents or provided by allied governments such as Argentinean communications with other Condor participants. The documents presented in the thesis were recently declassified in 2017 and 2019, and as a result, have not yet been used in academic articles and narratives of the Cold War. Additionally, reports from human rights organizations, legal documents, and other governmental records will be utilized to collaborate trends in political violence noted in the recently declassified documentation presented in the thesis. While previous narratives have outlined various aspects of Operation Condor, this thesis seeks to use previously classified documents to present conflicting patterns in U.S. foreign policy during the Carter Administration and the impact of events in Argentina on the Carter Administration' s strategies. This resulted in the creation of an apparatus that the United States' government could not control, creating a system of state-sponsored terrorism which became a liability to U.S. security interests.Keywords: Argentina, CIA, Junta, Coup, Foreign Policy, United States, Operation Condor, State-Sponsored Terrorism, Disappearances


Eugene M. Moreno

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | History