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Harold Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson and Anglo-American relations ‘at the summit’, 1964–68

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.

dissenting groups to question their roles in national security and to promote new understandings of the relationship between national and personal security in Israel. This process of reflection on the military in Israeli society has developed further in the context of the Middle East peace process (MEPP). Peace negotiations have altered the context in which the theory and practice of security in the region

in Redefining security in the Middle East
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‘stealth and furtiveness, lying and denial’ (Bok, 1986: 8). This characterisation oversimplifies a more nuanced reality, as secrecy is closely entwined with a more positive notion of privacy, while publicity can be associated with manipulation and distortion (Bok, 1986). There are also broad swathes of social and political activity where confidentiality is accepted and deemed necessary, from the work of juries to peace negotiations, and even staunch advocate of openness and transparency Jeremy Bentham qualified the power of publicity with the need to prevent injustice

in Science and the politics of openness

opportunity to incorporate the area into a ‘New World Order’ in which the struggle for power would be superseded by the features of the pluralist model – complex interdependence, democratic peace. The defeat and discrediting of Iraq’s militaristic Arab nationalism, the beginnings of the Arab–Israeli peace negotiations, and a Washington-imposed Pax Americana were to facilitate creation of the co-operative security arrangements needed to tame the power struggle. The consequent dilution of insecurity, together with the exhaustion of economies from arms races, would allow

in The international politics of the Middle East

go-ahead to investigate the possibility of peace negotiations with North Vietnam. In these months, then, Wilson was notably compliant with American wishes and willing to tolerate poor treatment from Washington. A ‘close’ or ‘special’ Anglo-American relationship remained of great importance to him, both personally and as a means of trying to magnify Britain’s influence in the world. Wilson’s telephone call to Washington, 11

in A ‘special relationship’?

representative’ to provide a ‘full and frank’ briefing on Vietnam and the Administration’s attitude towards peace negotiations. 9 Johnson sent Chester Cooper of the National Security Council to brief the British. On 30 January, he advised Wilson and Brown that Washington’s ‘direct contact with the North Vietnamese … was low-level and fragile’, but the Americans were ‘trying to keep it alive’. 10 Cooper

in A ‘special relationship’?
Open Access (free)
Redefining security in the Middle East

conference, a Labour Government, traditionally seen as more willing to engage in peace negotiations, came to power in Israel in 1992 (the first since 1977). That Government entered into secret talks with Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) officials in Oslo, Norway. The Oslo process, as it has come to be known, had the effect of bypassing the very public Madrid agendas and allowed for concrete efforts and results

in Redefining security in the Middle East
War and peace

, which should yield a dividend for the peace negotiations now proposed by France and agreed to by Britain on 7 April.36 Throughout these negotiations of April to September 1761 the British cabinet remained divided as to what terms should be demanded. Pitt announced that his minimum stipulation was for North America and the entire Newfoundland cod fishery, and that he would continue the war rather than make colonial concessions to save or regain Hanover. When Newcastle replied that France would certainly demand a share in the fishery, Pitt threatened to make it a

in George III
Peace and cider

any case instructed not to sign anything without prior royal approval.29 Southern Secretary Egremont soon became concerned about what ‘that headstrong silly wretch’ was conceding, mostly minor points but also the return of Cuba, if it was taken, without compensation.30 The mutual antipathy of Bedford and Egremont was to outlast the peace negotiations, during which Egremont was the link between envoy and cabinet, magnifying small concessions by the envoy and passing on to him instructions he disliked. George Grenville was the real obstacle to an early peace. On 29

in George III
A veiled threat

Israeli occupation. Public opinion surveys and various elections conducted for student unions, professional syndicates, and the chambers of commerce exhibit a clear pattern in growth for Hamas . At those times when the lack of significant progress in the peace negotiations has led to increased feeling of disenchantment and hopelessness among the Palestinian people, many Palestinians have demonstrated a greater

in Redefining security in the Middle East