Transatlantic Issues: New Relationships for Old

The old transatlantic relationships are dead. Europeans, especially the British, need to think through what new ones they should seek, and exercise their sovereign choices. That will be particularly difficult for Britain, where habit and large sections of the press encourage myopia about the nature of a so-called ‘special relationship’ with America.

The World Today
5 minute READ

William Hopkinson

Without the United States’ military and economic involvement, Britain would not have survived the Second World War in recognisable form; without such involvement during the Cold War, western Europe may not have survived the Soviet challenge. After the Second World War, despite history and the internal pressures for isolationism and unilateralism, the US played a major role in making the world systems.

American financial power relaunched western Europe. Its engagement throughout the Cold War protected that area and ensured the eventual freedom of central and eastern Europe, including Russia itself. All Europeans therefore have much for which to thank the US. But, as the advertisements say, past performance is no guarantee for the future, and as regards the Washington-London relationship, performance has by no means always been positive.

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