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Jonathan Colman

The period August 1966–September 1967 saw a decline in Wilson’s commitment to President Johnson and to the United States, both personally and in the wider context of British foreign policy. In February 1967, the Prime Minister tried to use the visit to London of the Russian leader Alexei Kosygin to bring Hanoi and Washington to the negotiating table over Vietnam. Wilson was sincere – if over

in A ‘special relationship’?
Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

, the US had learned that by utilising a number of tactics, including the temporary cancellation of nuclear and intelligence cooperation, they had managed to ensure that the British would, if forced, operate bilaterally with the US in opposition to Heath’s desire to formulate common EEC political and foreign policies. As shown in Chapter 3, US bilateral pressure on British interests could have profound effects upon the direction of British foreign policy. It is the coercive elements in US diplomacy towards its British ally that are currently omitted from existing

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson: a ‘special relationship’?
Jonathan Colman

. Gordon Walker, Stewart and Brown all supported the idea of close ties between Britain and the United States, but Wilson’s input was such that, as Richard Crossman commented, British foreign policy was characterised above all by the ‘peculiarly Wilsonian touch’ of a ‘personal reliance on LBJ’. 27 The Foreign Office backed up Wilson’s support for the continued close relationship with Washington and for the British ‘great power

in A ‘special relationship’?
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Colman

analysis noted that Britain’s standing in the United States depended ultimately on ‘our practical contribution to the Western Alliance rather than on any particular feeling of United Kingdom/United States interdependence’. 48 It was commented in 1964 that the ‘alliance with the United States’ was ‘the most important single factor’ in British foreign policy: ‘As much the weaker partner, dependent on overseas trade and with world

in A ‘special relationship’?
A political–cultural approach
Lisbeth Aggestam

of other member states or a European dimension. These words of a senior British foreign policy-maker reflect the experience of foreign policy cooperation between member states of the European Union for more than a quarter of a century. 1 Over the years, the level of ambition to speak with ‘one voice’ in foreign affairs has steadily increased to include even security and

in Rethinking European Union Foreign Policy
Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

relations. Likewise, for Henry Kissinger, ‘international relations cannot be conducted without an awareness of power relationships’.37 Edward Heath was equally frank in articulating that ‘realism’ had to be the bedrock of any British foreign policy.38 The following chapters, therefore, provide an analysis of the key political engagements between the two countries. 01_Strained_partnership_001-023.indd 13 06/11/2013 12:43 14 A strained partnership? The context for US–UK relations The Nixon presidency has long fascinated historians, political scientists, journalists and

in A strained partnership?
Thomas Robb

-assessing foreign policy 25 such arguments. The Nixon administration’s indifference towards the special relationship coupled with a British foreign policy pursuing a more European path resulted in the special relationship becoming near redundant. It was only once the consequences of the global economic and energy crisis of 1973–74 became apparent that the special relationship became prevalent again.6 Central in many of these accounts is the role played by certain individual policy-makers. Henry Kissinger, in particular, is seen to have had a malevolent effect upon US

in A strained partnership?
Jonathan Colman

relations between the Labour government and the United States, characterised above all by Wilson’s determination to secure his ties with the White House, in keeping with his personal inclinations and his view that close cooperation with Washington was fundamental to British foreign policy. The Labour victory President Johnson had never feared a Labour victory in Britain, but he felt it necessary to ease any

in A ‘special relationship’?
Thomas Robb

3 A year of discord 1973–74 No special relations. Correct. They’ll [Britain] have the relation with the French. President Nixon to Henry Kissinger, 9 August 19731 A year of discord At the onset of 1973, the US–UK relationship was entering a new epoch. The East of Suez withdrawal had lessened Britain’s global commitments and Britain officially entered the EEC on 1 January 1973. Heath was determined to chart a more Euro-centric British foreign policy, which would involve the creation of common political, foreign, monetary and energy policies within the EEC. The

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

attitudes in this field, however, do not necessarily translate easily into specific political choices. For example, in the 1930s liberals were divided on ‘appeasement’ as the mainspring of British foreign policy, and in recent years they have been divided on Western intervention in the Gulf, the Balkans, Africa and, recently, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Liberalism in the twentieth century The twentieth century began

in Understanding political ideas and movements