, used the summit as the starting point
of a new, more passive and low-key approach towards the American initiative.
Washington would now leave the matter to be addressed primarily by the
Europeans. The Washingtonsummit was useful to Johnson mainly because it
allowed him to impress upon the British the need for them to retain their
traditional ‘great power’ role and also to allow him to bring
the MLF to a conclusion. For
This book is based mainly on government sources, namely material from the White House, State Department, Foreign Office (FO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Prime Minister's Office (PREM) and Cabinet (CAB). Private papers consulted include those of Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown and Undersecretary of State George Ball. The book explores a period of the Wilson-Johnson relationship. It considers the seven weeks from Wilson's election until he went to see Lyndon B. Johnson on 7-9 December, a formative period in which Britain cultivated American financial support and which saw pre-summit diplomacy over the NATO Multilateral Force (MLF). The book covers the summit in detail, examining the diplomatic exchanges over the Vietnam War, the British commitment East of Suez and the MLF, as well as the interplay of personality between Wilson and Johnson. By exploring the relationship of the two leaders in the years 1964-1968, it seeks to examine their respective attitudes to the Anglo-American relationship. The book then assesses the significance of an alleged Anglo-American strategic-economic 'deal', Wilson's 'Commonwealth Peace Mission' to Vietnam, and another Wilson visit to Washington. It also considers why the personal relationship between Johnson and Wilson suffered such strain when the Labour government 'dissociated' the UK from the latest American measures in Vietnam. Next, the book addresses the period from August 1966-September 1967, during which Wilson launched an intense but abortive effort to initiate peace negotiations over Vietnam, and London announced plans to withdraw from military bases East of Suez.
articulation but weaker on the instruments to ensure adherence to
Ironically, perhaps, NATO members seemed to reaffirm the need
not to give up on the UN at the very moment that they were acting without
its explicit authority vis-à-vis Kosovo in the spring of 1999.
At the NATO Washingtonsummit, held when Operation Allied Force was
in full swing in April, a deliberate effort seemed to have been made to
Harold Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson: a ‘special relationship’?
government. At the Washingtonsummit of 7–9 December 1964, Wilson spoke of cementing a
‘close’ Anglo-American relationship, but Johnson regarded the
conference as little more than a chore, and a means of dealing with the
lingering NATO matter of the MLF. The months January–April 1965 saw
Wilson’s over-ambitious and poorly-received telephone call to the
White House on 11 February to try to moderate American conduct in Vietnam
Dimitris N. Chryssochoou, Michael J. Tsinisizelis, Stelios Stavridis and Kostas Ifantis
, and in
accordance with the terms of reference endorsed by NATO Foreign and Defence
Ministers in December 1997, NATO’s Policy Co-ordination Group (PCG) started
examining the 1991 Alliance Strategic Concept with a view to updating it ‘as
necessary’. This process ended on 23–24 April 1999, with the approval by the
WashingtonSummit of the new and by now forward-looking Strategic Concept.
The latter was clearly the result of the consolidation of the strategic environment
of the 1990s, the decisions taken at both national and international levels and the
European Union . Website reference http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/treaties/dat/eu_cons_treaty_en.pdf .
Blair: The Future of NATO: The WashingtonSummit.
Report and Proceedings of the Committee with Minutes of Evidence and
Appendices , House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, Third
Report, Session 1998-99, para. 63. Website reference http
Council of Europe nor the OSCE had been able alone to satisfy this
The WashingtonSummit also decided to build a European Security
and Defence Identity within the alliance. The policy called for a much
stronger European responsibility in handling future conflicts of the
Kosovo type. New threats would be brought to NATO’s attention,
giving it a right of ‘first refusal’. In cases where the alliance would not
want to act as such, a European Union chain of command would be
expected to take over responsibility, borrowing equipment from NATO
(and especially the United
that year. Witness Javier
Solana’s repeated pronouncements that the campaign would be over
by the time of the Washingtonsummit – NATO’s birthday
present to itself.
What likened NATO’s air strikes to a PR campaign
was the goal of zero casualties among the Allies, a figure which was
quite normal for a parade (unless an unfortunate onlooker falls under a
tank), but not in a war
Macmillan, 2000 ), p. 135.
Saki Dockrill, ‘Forging the Anglo-American
global defence partnership: Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and the
Washingtonsummit, December 1964’, Journal of Strategic
Studies, 23: 4 (December 2000 ), p. 107.
D. Cameron Watt, Succeeding John Bull: America in
eventual settlement was motivated by the long-standing Russian view that
NATO was biased against the Serbs. Finally, a bombing pause was proposed
once the withdrawal of Serb military and other forces had begun; this to be
made permanent once the withdrawal was completed. 37
The initial response from NATO collectively to these
initiatives seemed frosty. At the Washingtonsummit in late April