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Open Access (free)
US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77
Author: Thomas Robb

This is the first monograph length study that charts the coercive diplomacy of the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as practiced against their British ally in order to persuade Edward Heath’s government to follow a more amenable course throughout the ‘Year of Europe’ and to convince Harold Wilson’s governments to lessen the severity of proposed defence cuts. Such diplomacy proved effective against Heath but rather less so against Wilson. It is argued that relations between the two sides were often strained, indeed, to the extent that the most ‘special’ elements of the relationship, that of intelligence and nuclear co-operation, were suspended. Yet, the relationship also witnessed considerable co-operation. This book offers new perspectives on US and UK policy towards British membership of the European Economic Community; demonstrates how US détente policies created strain in the ‘special relationship’; reveals the temporary shutdown of US-UK intelligence and nuclear co-operation; provides new insights in US-UK defence co-operation, and revaluates the US-UK relationship throughout the IMF Crisis.

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)
Thomas Robb

1 Introduction American leaders saw it [to be] in their self-interest to obtain British advice before taking major decisions. It was an extraordinary relationship because it rested on no legal claim; it was formalized by no document; it was carried forward by succeeding British governments as if no alternatives were conceivable. Britain’s influence was great precisely because it never insisted on it; the ‘special relationship’ demonstrated the value of intangibles. Henry Kissinger’s assessment of the US–UK ‘special relationship’1 Introduction The above quote

in A strained partnership?
Thomas Robb

2 Re-assessing foreign policy 1969–72 There could be no special partnership between Britain and the United States, even if Britain wanted it. Prime Minister Heath to President Pompidou, May 19711 The jilted lover According to Henry Kissinger, Edward Heath rejected a close working partnership with Richard Nixon, which left him feeling akin to that of a ‘jilted lover’.2 Kissinger’s analysis has had an incredible impact upon the subsequent scholarly assessments of the US–UK relationship. As Heath’s official biographer Philip Ziegler has claimed, ‘Certainly it was

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

4 Wilson returns 1974–76 You have to operate on the assumption that Great Britain is through. Henry Kissinger to President Ford, October 19741 Introduction Heath’s final months in office were dominated by economic and social problems. Continuing trouble with the trade union movement had resulted in a three-day working week being enforced, and the ongoing oil embargo had led to the British public having to restrict their energy use. This set of circumstances had led to what one popular British newspaper would term as Heath’s ‘Long agony in No. 10’.2 Following

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
Thomas Robb

6 Conclusion As Henry Kissinger noted in 2001, the contemporary strains in the transatlantic relationship mirrored those experienced throughout the Cold War.1 As shown in the previous chapters, such an interpretation holds considerable merit. Given the political, economic and social changes witnessed in this era, perhaps scholars should not be surprised that the US–UK relationship was fraught with difficulties. Nevertheless, the traditional interpretation that the Nixon–Heath years were a period of constant acrimony for US–UK relations requires clarification

in A strained partnership?
Open Access (free)
Jonathan Colman

and the United States. 8 In their coverage of the relationship over first two post-war decades, most writers do tend to regard the adjective ‘special’ as at least partially warranted. The American academic and foreign policy practitioner Henry Kissinger, for example, notes how effectively British diplomats brought their influence to bear upon American policymakers. There were ‘meetings so regular that autonomous American

in A ‘special relationship’?
Thomas Robb

, one of Callaghan’s private secretaries noted to him that he was ‘certain’ that the tactic of reaching out to Ford and Kissinger would get Britain a ‘safety net’ prior to the conclusion of the IMF negotiations. Michael Palliser wrote in a similar fashion to Callaghan’s principal private secretary, Kenneth Stowe.62 05_Strained_partnership_175-209.indd 184 06/11/2013 13:53 All out of money 185 Following such confident advice, Callaghan attempted to use his relationship with Henry Kissinger as a means of ensuring the US would pressure the IMF into providing

in A strained partnership?
Raymond Hinnebusch

from the 1973 war and the oil embargo out of the weakness to be acclaimed as a ‘hero of peace’. He personalised relations between states, naively convinced that his embrace of American leaders, including his ‘friend Henry’ (Kissinger), would be enough to change America’s pro-Israeli policy. His eagerness to jettison Soviet support and rely totally on American diplomacy was an eccentrically personal choice that appalled his professional foreign policy advisors. To Sadat, the Russians were ‘crude and tasteless people’ while Egypt’s alienation from the US was unnatural

in The international politics of the Middle East
Martha Graham, dance and politics
Dana Mills

dance artist to represent the US on those tours was José Limón, who went to Latin America in 1954 (Prevots 2001). Martha Graham was one of the most prominent artists to take an active part in this programme. Clare Croft, who has written extensively about dance and cultural diplomacy in the US, argues that Graham was defined as a ‘grand lady of dance’ in a memo sent in 1974 from Henry Kissinger to Gerald Ford (Croft 2015:  105). But Graham’s centrality in American dance predated the State tours. The State Department consequently assumed she had international value

in Dance and politics