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UK and US: The myth of the special relationship

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The wreckage of WW2 left Britain effectively bankrupt and militarily overextended, whilst America emerged as the new superpower.

In order to stay relevant in global politics, Britain considered it essential to continue Churchill’s wartime alliance with the US.

In order to stay relevant in global politics, Britain considered it essential to continue Churchill’s wartime alliance with the US.

Britain allowed America to establish bases for B-29 bombers initiating foreign military bases on British soil.

The Secretary of State, Ernest Bevin, acknowledged the gravity of this decision and said “Permanent peacetime bases involved quite new principles.”

By 1950, the Americans were basing bombers carrying nuclear weapons in Britain as well as established NATO.

Even though WW2 ended, Britain took an unprecedented decision to continue conscription into peacetime.

Britain paid a “blood price” to show their commitment to US foreign policy and to project itself as a global power like the US.

This came at the peak of the Korean War when the Communist North invaded the South in June 1950.

British chiefs were opposed to sending troops to Korea to avoid harming relationswith Mao Zedong’s Communist China.

British chiefs were opposed to sending troops to Korea to avoid harming relationswith Mao Zedong’s Communist China.

“Refusal to provide troops would harm Anglo-American relations.” The cabinet decided that “British land forces should be sent in order to consolidate Anglo-American friendship and to placate American public opinion.”

In 1956, Britain’s futile attempt in invading Egypt in alliance with France and Israel was cut short by American political pressure.

Yet the British remained fully committed to maintaining an alliance with the USAregardless of the post-war humiliation.

Similarly, besides the strong opinion against America’s Vietnam war, Britain supplied military hardware and troops.

There are countless more examples in recent history that show that the “special” relationship only benefits one side.

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