US-UK Relations Under Cameron and Clegg
After more than a year of British hand-wringing over the status of the Special Relationship under President Obama, the shoe is now on the other foot, with some Americans wondering whether the new occupants of No. 10 Downing Street will be quite as Atlanticist.
In my New Atlanticist writeup, “Cameron, Clegg, and the Special Relationship,” I contend that we’re unlikely to see much change.
First, I dismiss most of the business about a “solid but not slavish” friendship and “the default Atlanticism” as “mostly a rhetorical sop to public opinion in wake of the widespread — if in my judgment grossly unfair —belief that Tony Blair was ‘America’s poodle’ in the Iraq War.”
Second, and more fundamentally, mature Western democracies tend to show remarkable stability in their foreign policies.
Writing on November 7, 2008 about the incoming Obama administration, I approvingly quoted Paul Heutching‘s remark that, “Obama is an American politician, and he will govern like an American president.” Well, David Cameron is a British politician, and he will govern like a British prime minister.
He will, as is his duty, make sober assessments about the best interests of his nation and make his policy decisions accordingly. And — as with Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, and a host of others before him — he’ll more often than not find that the UK’s interests and those of the USA will overlap. On those rare instances where they don’t, however, he’ll steer his own course.
More at the link.
Photo credit: Reuters.