July 14, 2007


Special relationship will survive - as before (John O'Sullivan, 14/07/2007, Daily Telegraph)

Why does the special relationship manage to survive and re-emerge repeatedly in foreign affairs? Its enemies - they include European states, the State Department, Europhile politicians in Britain, some ultra-nationalist Tories, and Little Englanders - tend to attribute its annoying permanence to sentimentality, especially on the British side.

In fact the special relationship is rooted in two things. First, because Britain and the US (and Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India) share a common language, culture, and legal and political traditions, they tend to see the world in much the same way. The "Anglosphere" countries believe in a liberal international order and are more prepared to uphold it by force than other liberal powers.

Second, since 1941 Britain and the US (and, again, countries such as Australia, Canada, etc.) have developed practices of mutual cooperation in fields as various as war, trade, electronic spying, investment, and international institution-building.

These suit both (or all) countries very well. The British armed forces and defence industry have benefited enormously from their intimate relationship with larger and more technically advanced partners in the US. It is one reason why Britain is the single most important military power in Europe (even under a penny-pinching Labour government).

Well, now it's déjà vu all over again.

...will only serve to strengthen the relationship.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2007 6:56 AM
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