Although the Suez adventure in France and the United Kingdom happened a long time ago, when an attempt was made 65 years ago to regain control of the Suez Canal, the withdrawal of the Western Allies in Afghanistan might draw some comparisons, says Philip Stephens, financial times Advertising. And the leadership of Washington, angry at the time because of its nefarious alliances, suspended lending to the British government, voted unanimously with the Soviet Union to intervene militarily at the United Nations, and pulled the tail of London and Paris.
Defeat is common in Afghanistan, Western allies leave faraway countries in humiliating conditions, but while the United States is strong enough to shake off shame like a dog on water, the British, who have invested the most in the mission in Afghanistan after the United States, only a helpless fist remains. . The contrast stems from the fact that both cases refer to the essence of the so-called special American-British relationship, that is, the unilateral dependence of the island nation on the United States.
After Brexit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised Britons that their country would now emerge on the big stage in international politics as an independent player. However, the withdrawal from Afghanistan showed that London could do nothing but what Washington decided. This raises similar cases. Prime Minister Harold Wilson was brave enough to refuse to send British troops into Vietnam, but Richard Nixon thoughtlessly froze intelligence cooperation between the two sides when Edward Heath put Europe ahead of the United States as a priority for the British government. Ronald Reagan did not tell Margaret Thacher that the US military was attacking Grenada, a member of the British Commonwealth.
Johnson sees Britain’s global vision that British foreign policy will move from Europe to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, the Queen Elizabeth, the Navy’s new aircraft carrier in the South China Sea, will tour China’s immediate neighborhood and the government will invest in the most advanced technologies for taxpayers. Money. However, this idea contradicts shamefully with the resources available to the state. If we take a closer look, we can see that the cost of new developments in information technology is to reduce the army and air force to a more modest size – Queen Elizabeth, for example, is partly in the service of the US Air Force.
Prime Minister Anthony Eden immersed himself in an adventure at Suez, and his successor, Harold Macmillan, realized that the United Kingdom, as the best friend of the United States, could kick the ball in international politics and that Big Brother needed it in Europe to assert its influence in political processes on the continent. That is why it then took the first steps towards the accession of the United Kingdom to its predecessor in the European Union.
In recent decades, British prime ministers have often defined the island nation’s role as a bridge between the United States and Europe. From the ability to influence both parties as a mediator of the will of the other, he can derive power that he can use for his own benefit. Brexit means that the European part of this model is almost completely lost, and with the US leadership seeing the US as the guarantor of global security, as in the example of Afghanistan, the US leg is also lost.
For a country like the UK, which wants to be involved in resolving international security issues but has limited financial resources to do so, the geopolitical formula is simple, the British business newspaper writer said. It must build close relationships with the world’s most powerful democracy and have a strong influence on its continent. However, Boris Johnson is not trusted in Brussels, Berlin, Paris or Washington. He stands alone in a land where no one has sailed for himself and his country. There is room for improvement in this situation, but this work will be done by a future British Prime Minister.
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