A weak royal arbitrator

In recent months, the United States' "special relationship" with the U.K. has been strained with discord over Iran's nuclear program.  While Britain and the E.U. cling to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) established under the Obama administration, the Trump administration has withdrawn from it in search of a bilateral agreement.  The fallout from this disagreement led London to rebuke Washington in typical English fashion.  Recently, a "leaked" diplomatic cable from Britain's ambassador suggested that the Trump administration intentionally sabotaged the JCPOA purely to spite Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.  This ostensibly unofficial criticism conveniently deflected attention from London's "special relationship" with the U.S. and focused it on U.S. partisanship.  In other words, there is no issue with the "special relationship," only an issue between the current and former U.S. administrations, and as long as Washington follows London's lead, the "special relationship" remains as such.  However, if the point at issue is nuclear proliferation, it may be in Washington's best interest to re-examine this "special relationship."

The most contentious relationship between two nuclear powers in recent history has been between the two former British colonies India and Pakistan.  London's condescending colonial diplomacy has left these nations teetering on the brink of nuclear war for the last two decades.  This nuclear rivalry has also not remained confined to the region.  With U.S. military forces in neighboring Afghanistan, and incursions into Pakistan that targeted Osama bin Laden, the U.S. has also been forced to cope with London's post-colonial nuclear snafu.  In recent months, there was a flare-up of hostilities between the two powers over the contested Kashmir region.  Indeed, when it comes to de-escalating nuclear tensions, London has had little success, and it has come at a price for the U.S.  The people residing in Washington and London might speak the same language, but not when it comes to nuclear diplomacy.

The modern "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K. between Churchill and Roosevelt during WWII was formed largely because the two leaders spoke the same language.  Today, that lingual tie is less exclusive.  Much more of mainland Europe speaks fluent English and is more unified and involved in world affairs than it was in the 1940s.  Economically weaker than mainland Europe, as Brexit nears, London is further focusing the U.K. toward sovereign interests.  The question for the U.S. is why it should beholden itself to the interests of a former colonial power that doesn't share its economic strength.

Considering Britain's record regarding its former colonies in the Middle East, Washington shouldn't be especially eager to follow London's lead.  An economically weak U.K. and more English-speakers in Europe does not mean that the "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K. is less "special," only that it is "special" for different reasons.  London has special needs in the current political crisis and wants to leverage its "special relationship" to further its interests.  There's no doubt that meeting those special needs can be negotiated, provided that London refrain from inciting U.S. partisan discord.

In recent months, the United States' "special relationship" with the U.K. has been strained with discord over Iran's nuclear program.  While Britain and the E.U. cling to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) established under the Obama administration, the Trump administration has withdrawn from it in search of a bilateral agreement.  The fallout from this disagreement led London to rebuke Washington in typical English fashion.  Recently, a "leaked" diplomatic cable from Britain's ambassador suggested that the Trump administration intentionally sabotaged the JCPOA purely to spite Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.  This ostensibly unofficial criticism conveniently deflected attention from London's "special relationship" with the U.S. and focused it on U.S. partisanship.  In other words, there is no issue with the "special relationship," only an issue between the current and former U.S. administrations, and as long as Washington follows London's lead, the "special relationship" remains as such.  However, if the point at issue is nuclear proliferation, it may be in Washington's best interest to re-examine this "special relationship."

The most contentious relationship between two nuclear powers in recent history has been between the two former British colonies India and Pakistan.  London's condescending colonial diplomacy has left these nations teetering on the brink of nuclear war for the last two decades.  This nuclear rivalry has also not remained confined to the region.  With U.S. military forces in neighboring Afghanistan, and incursions into Pakistan that targeted Osama bin Laden, the U.S. has also been forced to cope with London's post-colonial nuclear snafu.  In recent months, there was a flare-up of hostilities between the two powers over the contested Kashmir region.  Indeed, when it comes to de-escalating nuclear tensions, London has had little success, and it has come at a price for the U.S.  The people residing in Washington and London might speak the same language, but not when it comes to nuclear diplomacy.

The modern "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K. between Churchill and Roosevelt during WWII was formed largely because the two leaders spoke the same language.  Today, that lingual tie is less exclusive.  Much more of mainland Europe speaks fluent English and is more unified and involved in world affairs than it was in the 1940s.  Economically weaker than mainland Europe, as Brexit nears, London is further focusing the U.K. toward sovereign interests.  The question for the U.S. is why it should beholden itself to the interests of a former colonial power that doesn't share its economic strength.

Considering Britain's record regarding its former colonies in the Middle East, Washington shouldn't be especially eager to follow London's lead.  An economically weak U.K. and more English-speakers in Europe does not mean that the "special relationship" between the U.S. and U.K. is less "special," only that it is "special" for different reasons.  London has special needs in the current political crisis and wants to leverage its "special relationship" to further its interests.  There's no doubt that meeting those special needs can be negotiated, provided that London refrain from inciting U.S. partisan discord.