Re-assessing foreign policy 1969–72
in A strained partnership?

The chapter begins with an overview of the main foreign policy aims of each country and an analysis of how foreign policy was created in each capital. From here, this chapter demonstrates the evolving nature of the US-UK relationship within the context of Britain’s application to join the European Economic Community, and American efforts to institutionalise détente with the USSR. It is shown throughout this chapter that the Nixon administration grew increasingly concerned that British membership of the EEC would permanently undermine the US-UK relationship, or, worse still, encourage the creation of a competitive power bloc that would be opposed to US interests. It is further highlighted how the détente policies of the Nixon administration caused apprehension within British policy-making circles in that superpower cooperation could lead to superpower condominium that would leave British interests severely undermined.

In spite of such areas of difference, this chapter does highlight the continuing political, military and diplomatic cooperation between the two sides, and thus acts as a balance to interpretations that emphasise only conflict within the relationship. Thus, we have discussion about US-UK cooperation in the realm of nuclear weapons, intelligence collection, British support for Nixon’s Vietnam policies, and Cold War diplomacy.

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A strained partnership?

US–UK relations in the era of détente, 1969–77

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