Western Europe Politics Term Paper

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United States & United Kingdom

Western Europe Politics

International Relations:

The United States & United Kingdom

The purpose of this paper is to examine the close relationship between the United States and United Kingdom and attempt to determine the roots of these strong bonds from a time when the U.S. was still a British Colony to present day. Further this work will explain why this bond in essence forces the British to go along with the U.S. On International issues and endeavors and to determine if this bond will break considering the aftermath of the war with Iraq and the criticism both nations have been in receipt of for basically going at it alone in the war against Iraq.


The United States and the United Kingdom have a long-running history between the two countries and in the present sense the United Kingdom is the largest customer that the United States has and the United States is also the country that invests the largest amount in the United Kingdom each year. Recently there has been speculation that the alliance between the two countries may perhaps cool or even break due to the unpopular war with Iraq and the negativity that the two countries are experiencing due to the war.

Background and History:

The United States was once under British rule and in fact the American Revolution was fought for the purpose of removing the U.S. Colonies from the rule of the British. The American Revolution was fought and independence was won establishing America as an independent and separate nation from Great Britain but only after a grueling war. Great Britain was determined to keep the Colonies under British rule and after an attack on Charleston and lives having been lost the colonists stated their intentions in a document entitled "Declaration of the Causes and Necessities to Take up Arms" and the action to break away from what most considered to be their mother country began. It has been stated in history that most of the colonists identified with the British and that many of the colonists considered themselves to be Britons.

The British have since the time of the independence of the United States been an ally and have aided in participation the United States during many military operations. History reveals that the time between the United Kingdom and the United States is a strong bond however, recently with the negativity surrounding the unpopular war initiative in Iraq relations have been strained but predictors claim that the tie is not one that will easily break.

In a March 2003 United Press International Report an analysis of the United States -- United Kingdom alliance states that there had been a noted strain between the two but that the Britons were 60% in approval of the war against Iraq without having had the United Nations mandate in the offensive. The amount of troops, approximately 45,000 in all from Great Britain deployed to Iraq has been stated to be the largest military deployment by the country since World War II. According to the Policy Research & Analysis report in March 2003: "The Anglo-U.S. special relationship remains the cornerstone of strategic thinking in both Washington and London, and once again Great Britain is standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States at a crucial moment in history. The world's two most powerful nations remain united in their determination to deal with the twin global threats of state-sponsored terrorism and the productions of weapons of mass destruction by rogue states."

During a 2001 press conference British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook stated that: It's not a phrase that I use but a matter of records is that America is our oldest friend and is our closet ally, and the relationship of trust, of confidence between our governments is a very important asset to both of us. The friendship of our people does require close partnership between our governments."

The friendship between President Ronald Reagan and Britain's Margaret Thatcher is one example of the closely held relations between the United States and the United Kingdom. President Reagan stated of Margaret Thatcher that: We met before she became prime minister and I became president, and the moment we met, we discovered that we shared quite similar views of government and freedom. Margaret ended our first meeting by telling me that we must stand together, and that is exactly what we have done ever since." According to Admiral Williams Crowe, former U.S. ambassador to London with the Clinton administration says that: "the relationship goes much deeper than what is in the headlines. I have always described the relationship like an iceberg, in that there is a small tip of it sticking out, but beneath the water there is quite a bit of everyday business that goes between our two governments in a fashion that is unprecedented in the world." According to Admiral Crowe, since each country (the U.S. And U.K.) are each the largest investor of the other it will be trade that keeps the relationship strong, no matter what is going on in terms of the surface view.

A 2003 Newsday report entitled "U.S. -- U.K. Tie Will Endure, but With a Chill" states that: "Whether the relationship falters or whether Britain is physically incapable of engaging in another war until the occupation of Iraq ends, the British people and parliament will demand greater scrutiny of any future U.S. -- U.K. alliance, and will be double chary of American motives." Reportedly the visit of Bush had resulted in protests in the United Kingdom however; the protests were of a peaceful nature.

Common Initiatives -- Joint Investments:

The United States and The United Kingdom have joined together in a waiver of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which grants to both nations preferred status in doing business with each other. According to analysts: "U.S. And British interests are too similar and their longstanding 'special relationship' too unique to be held hostage to here changes in government." (Cornwell 1997)

Also stated in the same report was that: I do think the relationship between the United States and Britain transcends ideology and parties." (Lichtman 1997)

The joint initiatives of the United States and United Kingdom continuing even yet may surprise many throughout the world. In September of this year the U.S. Defense Department and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense were reportedly discussing a joint research program toward the ends of a ground-based system for detection of and counteraction against land mines on military routes with the focus in developing a system prototype.

Industry in the United States and Great Britain in inevitably linked together. In a 1993 Defense Industry Seminar sponsored by the National Defense Industrial association and the Defense Manufacturers Association the benefits of 'better coordination' and 'industrial cooperation' were the topics discussed between participants from the United States and Great Britain. According to Lord Willy Bach of Lutterworth, U.K., who is the undersecretary of states and minister of defense procurement, "It is a measure of the strength of our relationship to be able to speak frankly about defense industrial relations."

Stated within the same report is that: "while there are many advantages to the United States -- United Kingdom relationship, such as having strong political and cultural ties, there are also challenges, such as legislative barriers, congressional influence on programs and the defense department acquisition process." The plan of the National Defense Industrial Association is stated as being that: The British Embassy would provide support to United Kingdom's industry trying to break into the United States market by lobbying the administration, Congress and U.S. companies on barriers ... " as well as the fact that The U.S. And U.K. are considered by each other to be 'privileged' partners in trade relations.


Although differences have arisen between the…

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