Falklands: military, diplomatic impact beyond islands
United Nations, N.Y. — The war over the Falkland Islands may have far-reaching consequences. Already it is sending out ripples that may have a serious impact on military thinking, diplomatic relations, and economic interests not directly related to the British-Argentine dispute.
Some results, according to several analysts here:
* Developing countries may attempt to incorporate mineral-rich Antarctica into the Law of the Sea Treaty. Some experts are convinced that one of the reasons Britain went all-out to recapture the Falklands is that their possession strengthens British claims (based on geographical proximity) to a piece of Antarctica's pie.
* A vigorous push by Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India, Japan - to name but a few - may be expected next fall at the United Nations General Assembly aimed at enlarging the Security Council. These countries, as well as West Germany, see no reason why the Security Council should reflect what they see as the outmoded power balance of 35 years ago. They question why two middle-size powers, France and Britain, should have a right to a veto rather than countries that are larger in size, in population, and in industrial might.
* Argentina - in an attempt to achieve equal status with the industrial powers viewed as having banded together to humiliate it - may decide to acquire nuclear weapons. In this event, Brazil would likely follow suit, and Latin America would cease to be a nuclear-free zone.
* For all practical purposes the Rio Treaty, which the United States hoped to use against the Soviet Union and its allies, is now defunct. Latin American countries are more likely to conclude that the US only sees them as instruments to further its national interests - and that it is ready to ''betray'' Latin America for the sake of its European allies.
* The old American dream of someday linking NATO with the hemispheric alliance in one large Western alliance (Western Europe, North and South America) is gone for the same reason.
* If Spain gains admission to NATO, it is likely in the future to veto any NATO move against a Latin American country.
* US vigorous anticommunist policies in Latin America - seen as aimed at isolating Cuba, destabilizing Nicaragua and containing the Salvador rebellion - have been seriously weakened. Argentina will be more reluctant to volunteer personnel for subversive tasks against Nicaragua. Argentina is patching up relations with Nicaragua and even with Cuba, which will be less isolated in the hemisphere than previously.
* Smaller and poorer nonaligned countries may revise their views concerning such third world countries as Argentina. Argentina may suffer defeat by Britain. But it was able to take Britain on and to inflict serious damage. Diplomatically speaking, the US appears to diplomats here to be the main loser and the Soviet Union the main winner of the crisis. US influence in Latin America, at least for now, is expected to be diminished while sympathy, if nothing else, for the Soviet Union, may increase.