Thursday, March 18, 2010

Global Security: UK-US Relations

In Britain, the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Commons published a report about the relationship between America and Britain. The report contained a long list of recommendations, one of which was to stop referring to the relationship between Britain and America as a “special relationship.”

The idea that Britain and America had a “special relationship” took off after World War II. Britain decided that she needed to keep America as her ally or else everything would fall apart. Actually, for Britain, pretty much everything did fall apart. But her plan, nevertheless, was to stay close to America, try to convince her to do Britain’s bidding, and hope for the best. As such, the idea that Britain would no longer have a “special relationship” with America must have seemed like sacrilege to many in Britain.

As for why Britain should no longer refer to her relationship with America as “special,” the committee said that Britain had been “over-optimistic” about its ability to influence policymaking in America. What’s more, in the future, British influence in America would decline even further.

“We conclude that over the longer-term the UK is unlikely to be able to influence the US to the extent it has in the past,” said the committee.

They blamed the decline in British influence on the “shifts in geopolitical power.” By that, they meant the shift in power from the West to Asia. The committee acknowledged that America had the right to pursue relationships with other countries which could provide America with things that Britain could not. The committee decided that Britain had noooo choice but to accept that Asia would become more powerful as time went on. And instead of trying to stop the inevitable, Britain should ensure that she had the proper policy in place to cope with the situation. However, in the immediate short term, according to the committee, Britain had a good opportunity to influence America.

“The UK must capitalise upon the opportunities for influence which have arisen as a result of the greater alignment between the UK and US on a range of key policies,” said the report.

The committee does not say why or on what issues Britain and America had common interests. But presumably, these issues relate to the rise of Asia. Presumably, both Britain and America wanted to weaken their currencies at the expense of East Asia. Presumably, they wanted to force East Asia to accept a global warming treaty that placed unfair restrictions on East Asia. And presumably, they both wanted East Asia to lower her tariffs and open her markets while not providing East Asia with any corresponding concessions. The real question is…what were they thinking? On the one hand, they admit that power was shifting decisively to the East. But on the other hand, those idiots decided to pretend that nothing had changed. What a bunch of idiots. Anyways…

Despite this newfound alignment of interests, the committee argued that Britain needed to be “less deferential” towards America. Britain needed to be able to say no to America when its interests conflicted with America’s. In some cases, the report was contradictory on this point. On the one hand, the report listed our policy towards Israel and Palestine as an example of where Britain had a different policy than America. But on the other hand, Ivan Lewis, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told the committee that America listened to Britain on questions related to the Middle East peace process. Presumably, this means that Britain actually does approve of our policy which is hell bent on making the lives of the Palestinians miserable. But in their public statements, they just like to say that they disapprove of our actions. That way, Muslims won’t hate Britain (though they will hate us).

Remember, the committee just said America and Britain now had similar interests on a range of key issues. But on the other hand the committee argued that Britain should distance herself from America on certain issues. That sounds contradictory, to say the least. But really, what Europe and America decided to do was to engage in a game of good cop, bad cop. America would be the good cop. Europe would be the bad cop. And the target of this game would be East Asia. As such, much of the apparent conflict between Europe and America over the coming months would be nothing more than theater. And this is the real reason why the committee wanted to drop the use of the term “special relationship.” Britain and America needed to maintain the appearance of fighting each other.

The real “special relationship”

In fact, the committee reported that, despite the death of the “special relationship,” Britain and America still maintained a very close relationship in one crucial area: intelligence. According to the committee, intelligence cooperation was the one area where the relationship could truthfully be described as “special.”

“Britain has an intelligence sharing relationship with the US which is second to none,” said David H. Dunn.

According to him, America values British intelligence agencies more than the intelligence agencies in any other country. This cooperation started during World War II and has grown ever since. The committee believed that both Britain and America gained a considerable amount of benefit from that cooperation, particularly in the field of counter-terrorism.

According to Dunn, Britain has much to offer America when it came to intelligence work.

“Some foreign assets are more willing to talk to British intelligence rather than to the Americans for a variety of historical or other reasons,” said Dunn. “Thus it was the British intelligence service that brought an end to Libya’s programme of weapons of mass destruction and it was British intelligence for example who recently brought to light the recent Iranian facilities near Qum.”

In fact, I believe that Britain has a great deal of control over countries like Libya and Iran and that is why Britain was able to bring an end to the Libyan WMD program. That is why Britain knew about the Iranian nuclear facility in Qum. I won’t go through all the evidence here, but consider this. The current leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, was “educated” at Sandhurst. As for Iran, remember that Britain has controlled the Iranian oil sector basically from the beginning. In fact, before BP became BP, it was the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. My government certainly seems to believe that Britain has influence in Iran. How else can you explain that, in the report, Ivan Lewis said that America listens to Britain when it comes to issues that deal with Iran?

In my opinion, foreign influence is the only explanation for why countries like Iran and Libya keep doing things that are so stupid. They must be doing these things because they are controlled from the outside. They must be doing these things because their foreign masters want to keep their countries poor and miserable. They cannot be doing these things because they are in the interests of their country or their people.

Of course, Libya and Iran are not the only countries with which Britain has interfered with. Britain also had a great deal of influence in Iraq. According to Michael Clarke, “UK intelligence and Special Forces played key roles in the neutralisation of al Qaeda-Iraq after 2006.” Perhaps they were able to play this role because Al Qaeda in Iraq were British assets to begin with.

The report implies that Britain has extensive influence in Pakistan as well.

“The UK can contribute to both military and political re-orientation of Pakistan’s armed forces in ways that the US cannot, and without some of the stigma that attaches inside Pakistan to association with the US,” said Michael Clarke.

We must ask ourselves why does Britain have this miraculous ability to “reorient” the Pakistani military and political systems? Perhaps Britain never gave up her influence in Pakistan. Remember, not too long ago, Pakistan used to be part of British India.

Interestingly, despite this cozy intelligence relationship, the committee claimed that Britain did not influence the decisions America made in Afghanistan.

“I was quite struck by those who told me that we have had people embedded in the analytical stage of the discussion of US policy towards Afghanistan, but that the Americans insisted on taking the embedded British officers out when they moved on to the strategy stage,” said Lord Wallace of Saltaire. “That is access without influence. It is clearly going to be a question for anyone’s security review: where are our interests in this and how much are we going to spend in order to buy privileged access?”

My government now “tells” me that this was merely theater. America did talk to Britain about our strategy in Afghanistan. But Britain wanted to deny this because they wanted to be able to deny that they approved of our dipshit strategy. Note this is similar to how Britain acted with respect to our policy towards Israel and Palestine.

The British Network of Diplomatic Posts

Here’s another reason why readers should be doubtful about the death of the “special relationship.” In the report, the committee mentions that Britain has an extensive network of British officials throughout America. These officials work for the Network of Diplomatic Posts. They develop relationships with important local figures, governors, state legislators, business executives, and university vice-chancellors. In fact, when this report was published, Britain had 417 of these officials in America. According to the report, this network is important for Britain. But the only way this network is of value to Britain is if these officials can influence U.S. decision makers into making decisions that are favorable to Britain.

Interestingly, the report lists a number of other countries where Britain has a Network of Diplomatic Posts. In India, Britain has 505 officials working for this organization, which is more than what Britain has stationed in America. If I remember correctly, Britain only had 1,200 bureaucrats running India back when India was a British colony. And the report fails to mention the number of British officials in Bangladesh and Pakistan (which used to be part of British India). Actually, if my memory is correct, this report used to list the number of British officials in those countries. And the number of British officials in all three countries – India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – was about 1,200. Based on the number of British bureaucrats in India, it seems as though India continues to remain a de facto colony of Britain to this very day. Perhaps this is why Britain decided to alter or remove this information from the report.

Although the media made the headline for this report “The Death of the Special Relationship,” the actual heading for the report should have been, “The Special Relationship Tries a Little Good Cop, Bad Cop.” Then again, maybe not. Because despite the evil intentions of Britain and America, in the coming days, East Asia would decisively crush western hegemony. And so now, maybe, America will decide she has noooo choice but to dump Britain and enter a new era which can only be called “The Pacific Century.”

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