Without a shadow of a doubt, Barack Obama has been the most anti-British president in modern American history. The Special Relationship has been significantly downgraded, and at times humiliated under his presidency, which has displayed a shocking disregard for America’s most important partner and strategic ally.
There are a multitude of reasons forPresident Obama’s dismissive approach to the UK, and here are a few:
An obsession with engaging and appeasing America’s enemies rather than cultivating allies; personal animosity towards Britain because of his grandfather’s role as a Mau Mau supporter in 1950’s colonial Kenya; Democrat resentment over British support for the Bush Administration over Iraq; left-wing disdain for the idea of Anglo-American exceptionalism and world leadership; support for supranational institutions such as the European Union over the supremacy of the nation state.
Declaration of neutrality over the Falklands
For sheer offensiveness it’s hard to beat last week’s incredible statement from the State Department on the Falklands dispute, not least considering the fact that 255 British soldiers died retaking the islands from Argentina in 1982. Here it is:
“We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.”
Downgrading of the Special Relationship
Barack Obama never refers to the Special Relationship, and has not even mentioned Britain once in a major policy speech, either before or after taking office. The Anglo-American alliance is barely a blip on Obama’s teleprompter screen, and he acts as though it simply does not exist. The Special Relationship has also been largely erased from the official lexicon of the State Department, and is not even used by US officials in London. Despite being America’s only major reliable ally when the chips are down, London is now treated in Washington as though it were the same as any other European power, albeit less charitably than either Paris or Berlin.
Support for a federal Europe
The Obama administration’s relentless and wrongheaded support for the creation of a federal Europe, from backing the Treaty of Lisbon to the European Security and Defence Policy, is a slap in the face for the principle of national sovereignty in Europe. While the Bush Administration was divided over Europe, the Obama administration is ardently euro-federalist, despite the fact that the likely next British government will probably fight them tooth and nail over it. British sovereignty is non-negotiable, and Obama’s willingness to undermine it is both insulting to Britain and self-defeating for the United States.
Undermining of British influence in NATO
Despite Nicolas Sarkozy’s distinctly unflattering opinion of Barack Obama, the president has gone to great lengths to appease French interests, even going as far as apologising to the French people in Strasbourg for hurting their feelings over the war in Iraq. The Obama administration has also done its best to give Paris a lead role in the NATO alliance at Britain’s expense, granting it one of two supreme NATO command positions – Allied Command Transformation (ACT). And this, despite the fact that France has for decades been ambivalent and obstructionist over NATO, and is failing to carry its weight in Afghanistan. Also there is currently not a single British general in charge of any of the big five supreme and operational commands in the alliance (in contrast to two Frenchmen and a German), even though Great Britain provides more troops for NATO operations than any member apart from the United States.
Refusal to recognize Britain’s sacrifice in Afghanistan
It is particularly galling that the president cannot even be bothered to acknowledge the sacrifice made by over 250 British servicemen and women on the battlefields of Afghanistan alongside their American allies – especially evident during his lacklustre speech at West Point in December. Britain currently has as many soldiers stationed in Afghanistan – 10,000 – as all the other major European powers combined. In contrast to George W. Bush, who frequently thanked the British armed forces and people for their role in the War on Terror, Obama has spectacularly failed to do so.
Lets hope the American People understand Britain is seperate from the rest of Europe and we fight with the USA to make this world a safer place! We are a capitalist and democratic country.