23 Facts About Special Relationship


Special Relationship is a term that is often used to describe the political, social, diplomatic, cultural, economic, legal, environmental, religious, military and historic relations between the United Kingdom and the United States or its political leaders.

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Special Relationship used it again in 1945 to describe not the Anglo–American relationship alone but Britain's relationship with both the Americans and the Canadians.

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Cornerstone of the Special Relationship is the collecting and sharing of intelligence, which originated during the Second World War with the sharing of code-breaking knowledge and led to the 1943 BRUSA Agreement, which was signed at Bletchley Park.

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In trade and finance, the Special Relationship has been described as "well-balanced", with the City of London's "light-touch" regulation in recent years attracting a massive outflow of capital from Wall Street.

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In 2007, US Ambassador Robert H Tuttle suggested to British business leaders that the Special Relationship could be used "to promote world trade and limit environmental damage as well as combating terrorism".

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Diplomatic policy behind the Special Relationship was two-pronged, encompassing strong personal support between heads of state and equally forthright military and political aid.

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Peaks in the Special Relationship include the bonds between Harold Macmillan and John F Kennedy; between James Callaghan and Jimmy Carter, who were close personal friends despite their differences in personality; between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan; and more recently between Tony Blair and both Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

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Special Relationship went on to declare the importance of American support of Britain's war effort, framing it as a matter of national security for the US As the American public opposed involvement in the conflict, Roosevelt sought to emphasize that it was critical to assist the British in order to prevent the conflict from reaching American shores.

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Special Relationship aimed to paint the British war effort as beneficial to the US by arguing that they would contain the Nazi threat from spreading across the Atlantic.

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Special Relationship had maintained his relationship with Truman during his six-year stint as Leader of the Opposition.

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Special Relationship asked, unsuccessfully, for the US to commit its forces to supporting Britain in Egypt and the Middle East.

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Special Relationship endeavoured to broaden the Special Relationship beyond Churchill's conception of an English-Speaking Union into a more inclusive "Atlantic Community".

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Special Relationship was perhaps tested the most severely by the Skybolt crisis of 1962, when Kennedy cancelled a joint project without consultation.

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Special Relationship seems to misunderstand the role of the Commonwealth in world affairs.

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Richard E Neustadt in his official investigation concluded the crisis in the Special Relationship had erupted because "the president's 'Chiefs' failed to make a proper strategic assessment of Great Britain's intentions and its capabilities".

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Skybolt crisis with Kennedy came on top of Eisenhower's wrecking of Macmillan's policy of detente with the Soviet Union at the May 1960 Paris summit, and the prime minister's resulting disenchantment with the Special Relationship contributed to his decision to seek an alternative in British membership of the European Economic Community.

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Special Relationship had liked Kennedy, and had begun to establish a positive working relationship with him.

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US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara asked Britain to send troops to Vietnam as "the unwritten terms of the Special Relationship", Wilson agreed to help in many ways but refused to commit regular forces, only special forces instructors.

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Special Relationship was "soured" during the Arab–Israeli War of 1973 when Nixon failed to inform Heath that US forces had been put on DEFCON 3 in a worldwide standoff with the Soviet Union, and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger misled the British ambassador over the nuclear alert.

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Special Relationship was a truly decent guy who never let me down.

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In November 1995, Clinton became only the second US president ever to address both Houses of Parliament, but, by the end of Major's premiership, disenchantment with the Special Relationship had deepened to the point where the incoming British ambassador Christopher Meyer banned the "hackneyed phrase" from the embassy.

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Special Relationship was reported to be "strained" after a senior US State Department official criticised a British decision to talk to the political wing of Hezbollah, complaining that the United States had not been properly informed.

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The validity of the Special Relationship was put in question as a result of the "aggressive rhetoric".

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