November 20, 2003


Britain and the United States must sign a new Atlantic Charter (Daniel Johnson, 20/11/2003, Daily Telegraph)

What would be the benefits? It may be hard to conceive of even closer Anglo-American co-operation than already exists, but experience has revealed an unnecessary level of friction between the two armed forces. The British envy the Americans their firepower and mobility; the Americans admire the British for their experience in counter-insurgency and peacekeeping. Integration of equipment and intelligence would be more complete. A sharper focus on the real threats facing the West would liberate resources.

Britain's greatest gain would be to preclude our absorption into a European army. Unless the drift towards European control of security and diplomacy is arrested, it is more than likely that Britain will never again be able to take America's side against the Franco-German axis, as it did over Iraq. By anchoring Britain in a formal bilateral alliance with the United States, the charter would preserve our freedom of action.

Earlier this month, I spent time in Washington discussing the idea of a new Atlantic Charter with several of America's most influential opinion formers. They agreed that it is an idea whose time has come. Tony Blair should seize an opportunity that may never recur.

We've been dating for over two hundred years; isn't it time to make an honest woman of Britain?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2003 11:47 AM

I heard powell say that the "steel issue" would
be resolved soon. Could we be seeing a
broader trade agreement with Britain soon?

Posted by: J.H. at November 20, 2003 12:07 PM

Poland could be invited into the Atlantic/Baltic Charter. Norway, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland would be contenders.

Posted by: genecis at November 20, 2003 1:16 PM

Keeping the British out of the EU is reason enough. JH - Hope you're right. Also I thought the US was close to a Free Trade AGreement with Australia but haven't seen anything recent on this.

Posted by: AWW at November 20, 2003 1:44 PM

Bush and Blair getting married? I thought you were against that sort of thing.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 20, 2003 3:16 PM

I'm more concerned about the fact that he wants us to marry the Mother Country. Even in Massachusetts, that would raise a few eyebrows.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 20, 2003 3:43 PM

We're the children of Judaism and Greece--we've got Oedipal urges deep in our Red, White, and Blue veins.

Posted by: OJ at November 20, 2003 5:01 PM