A panel of British lawmakers wants to end the "special relationship" between the United Kingdom and the United States, saying it has made the U.K. too deferential to its superpower ally. The phrase was coined by Winston Churchill after World War II to describe the shared cultural, political, and historical ties that united the two nations and helped defeat Nazi Germany. What does the growing distance between the two countries mean for America?
Under Obama we're losing our best allies: "'Scary' doesn't cover this," say the editors of the Richmark Sentinel. Obama is embroiled in a fight with one key ally, Israel, and now the U.K. wants some distance with Washington, too. If this keeps up, Obama will leave his successor "so isolated" we'll be unable to "project any power."
"U.S. an unreliable ally as Britain calls time on the 'Special Relationship'"
There's still time to save the "special relationship": President Obama's initial "soft power appeal" has worn off with the British, says Will Inboden in Foreign Policy, and U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "clumsy efforts to distance himself from his predecessor Tony Blair have included adopting a lukewarm posture towards the United States." Still, Obama should try to patch things up by making an official visit to the winner of the U.K.'s upcoming elections.
"Is there still time to save the 'special relationship?'"
The question is whether Obama really needs the U.K.: The two allies still cooperate deeply on security matters, says Toby Harnden in Britain's Telegraph. But "Britain proved itself less than trustworthy when the Court of Appeal ordered the publication of U.S. intelligence information about the former Guantanamo Bay inmate Binyam Mohamed." To Obama, Britain probably appears "not so much 'special' as rather annoying."
"What does the U.S.A. think of the 'special relationship'?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
- Congress' craven approach toward the war on ISIS
- This 1,600-year-old Viking war game is still awesome
- Is the Christian music industry liberalizing on gay marriage?
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The fascinating political evolution of Paul Ryan
Subscribe to the Week