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Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan

For Margaret Thatcher, the US-UK relationship was not only 'natural' and 'special'; it was 'amazing' and 'very, very special'. In the 1981 Conservative Get together conference she announced that 'possessed it not been for the magnanimity of the United States, Europe wouldn't normally be free today'. Her implication was that, under her leadership, Britain would not endorse the ingratitude of continental Europeans. By 1991 she was calling the US-UK romantic relationship 'the ideal alliance in the defence of liberty and justice the entire world has ever known'. The close personal romantic relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan was as intense as it was unprecedented in world affairs. Yet, not surprisingly close marriage, sentiment for Thatcher or the united kingdom was always trumped by US self-interest, sometimes in brutal fashion and more often than not with no regard for British isles sensibilities. Remembered on her behalf distinctive brand of nationalism as much as her anti-European rhetoric, Thatcher assumed her 'special position' with Reagan and her persistence to align Britain directly with America all the time was eventually in Britain's interest. Throughout her premiership, Thatcher couched this process in terms of shared record, cultures, values and sentiment. This section argues that despite the strength of the personal friendship and political similarities between Thatcher and Reagan, america throughout the Reagan presidency paid little functional attention to background and sentiment. Using three key occasions during the Reagan-Thatcher era, The Falklands Battle, the united states invasion of Grenada and the bombing of Libya, we will have repeated examples where British concerns counted for little.

Ronald Reagan's admiration and personal fondness for the United kingdom leader was unmistakable and it was no coincidence that Margaret Thatcher was President Reagan's first formal visitor to the White House. Not intimidated by her grasp of policy aspect, Reagan was reassured by her reiteration of conservative beliefs. As John Campbell has put it: 'Out of his depth with most foreign leaders, Reagan understood where he was with Mrs Thatcher, only if because she spoke his terminology: he recognized her, liked her, adored her and for that reason trusted her'. For Ronald Reagan, Thatcher was the leader who set to use American remedies to a country which experienced become demoralized and impoverished by an excess of socialism. In his memoirs he identified the Anglo-American alliance as the firmest during his presidency. While Thatcher didn't rate Reagan's understanding of issues, once privately conceding that 'There's little or nothing there', she do consider him to be 'the American desire in action'.

The Falklands Warfare in 1982 combined with the 1983 invasion of Grenada and the 1986 Libyan bombing increased important questions about the restrictions and character of US-UK assistance at a time when the attainment of both American endorsement and of a fresh international collaboration with the US were key goals for Thatcher. Cabinet Minister Norman Fowler recalled the desire of his acquaintances in the Thatcher years to reverse America's view that Britain experienced 'eliminated downhill to the idea that we experienced become an irrelevance'.

At times, the British government operated only a small amount more than a keen anti-communist cheerleader of the united states, supporting the American 'aim to promote peaceful change, democracy, and monetary development' in Central America. Thatcher enthusiastically backed the war from the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, siding with the US in an application of destabilisation which resulted in 50, 000 deaths and a global Court docket order for the US to pay $17 billion in injuries to Nicaragua. Britain's clandestine role in following the US lead by arming Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s is well known. Pursuing Reagan's election, Britain helped the united states effort in Afghanistan by cooperating in training programs for Islamist guerrillas against the post-Soviet regime in Kabul; support which many see as a primary quid pro quo for all of us aid during the Falklands Conflict. By 1986 MI6 was supplying the Afghan mujahidin with shoulder launched missiles. British isles coverage on Afghanistan after 1982 certainly seemed to contrast with early initiatives offered by London. In 1980 and 1981, Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington possessed offered various proposals including Afghan neautralisation. The recent roots of Al Qaeda are actually conventionally traced to the 1980s mujahidin campaigns in Afghanistan.

Yet, Thatcher's pro-Americanism was compromised to some extent by her own interpretation of James Callaghan's 'Atlantic intermediary' role. Whatever Thatcher's personal thoughts, any real revival of the 'special relationship' was bound to involve some kind of role for Britain as a credible broker between US and European interests and bring European perspectives to carry. Britain's Midsection East policy through the 1980s, for example, engaged makes an attempt at coordination with Western Community (EC) initiatives in the region. It should also not be forgotten that it was Thatcher's federal that secured passing of the 1985 Solo European Function.

By enough time Reagan became president in 1981, Thatcher had already proved herself to be Washington's surest ally. She didn't join her Western european colleagues in wanting to avoid the renewed anti-sovietism of the Carter supervision after 1979. Thatcher's unrivalled usage of the new president provided new opportunities, and permitted some extent of boldness. She protested the cancellation of the Siberian pipeline job in 1981, revealing to Secretary Al Haig that this 'affronted the Europeans to be asked to make tremendous sacrifices while the United States made nothing'.

The cancellation broke existing deals and increased severe concerns about the extraterritoriality folks law. A bargain, which allowed the pipeline to move forward, was achieved in 1982.

By far the greatest success of Margaret Thatcher to advertise Western european perspectives related to 'Superstar Wars' the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) for laser beam based mostly anti-missile defence, declared by President Reagan in 1983. Aside from showing up to breach the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, 'Superstar Wars' offered the prospect - however remote - of the US having the ability to shelter under its own defensive umbrella in the continental United States, at arm's span from Europe and leaving the continent subjected to conventional soviet armed service threat. Almost 18 months after Reagan's announcement, Thatcher was able to secure from the president a written commitment to nuclear deterrence doctrines, to treaty obligations, to the achievement of your East-West nuclear balance also to continuing negotiations. In participating in on doubts placed within the Reagan administration about SDI, Thatcher was able to effectively 'bounce' Reagan into affirming US commitment to nuclear deterrence in European countries and was very much regarded as a fait accompli on the British side

However, Thatcher continued to be very marginal to the personal superpower diplomacy that was winding down the Cold War. In the early times of Gorbachev's management of the USSR, she acted as something of your sponsor of him in Washington. However, her attempts to determine herself as a US-Soviet go-between after 1985 were forget about successful than parallel initiatives regarding Midsection Eastern diplomacy. 'Superstar Wars' and her post-Reykjavik Camp David undertakings represented the apogee of Thatcher's role as privileged Atlantic intermediary. From the standpoint of European leaders, Thatcher's usage of Reagan was possibly useful but her pro-Americanism damaged her reliability - an image not helped by, among other things, her dismissive reaction to the revival of the EUROPEAN Union as 'some Parisian counter to NATO'. Also damaging to Thatcher in this admiration was her defence of Reagan in the framework of the Iran-contra scandal (where in fact the White House sold arms to Iran in return for hostage releases - immediately contravening claims made alongside London about the folly of coping with terrorists - and illegally routed proceeds to rightist rebels in Nicaragua). Jerry Bremer of the STATE DEPT. joked that since the IRA 'does not conduct terrorism against Americans, we. . . are making token arms shipments to them'.

Economic disputes

Washington's cancellation of the Siberian pipeline project was taken in direct response to the imposition of martial legislations in Poland in December 1980. The pipeline was designed to bring Soviet gas to Western Europe. Made to lengthen almost 3000 a long way, it involved several Western European private companies in its construction. The main proponent for cancellation was US Associate Defence Secretary Richard Perle. The pipeline cancellation was also designed to prevent any new German or French reliance on Soviet energy items. From Washington's point of view, it was assumed that London's opposition would be muted, due to British access to North Sea energy items.

Thatcher was far from unsympathetic to Perle's 'press' on Moscow as she highly reinforced the sanctions imposed by the Carter supervision following 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. These sanctions included contract cancellations, tightening conditions for technology transfers and abandonment of Anglo-Soviet credit agreements. However, the pipeline concern raised a variety of objections.

Thatcher informed Secretary of Status Haig 'that the French and the Germans were never going to abandon their contracts' for the pipeline. She drew focus on 'a certain lack of symmetry' in Washington's reaction to the Poland turmoil - US grain sales weren't influenced by the embargo. Thatcher was concerned about the effect on British careers as several UK executive organizations were among those who stood to get from the pipeline. Thatcher especially resented the extraterritoriality of Washington's June 1981 announcement that the embargo on gas and oil technology exchanges would connect with the overseas subsidiaries folks companies also to foreign companies making components under licence. The announcement was provoked by the inability of the American allies to agree with the fact a sanctions strategy at the Bonn NATO summit of June 1982. Four days and nights later, Thatcher is at Washington denouncing the insurance policy of extraterritoriality to Haig and Vice President George Bush while Lord Cockfield, trade secretary, condemned an 'unacceptable extension of North american extraterritoriality jurisdiction in a way which is repugnant in international legislation'. The Thatcher government's nationalism and respect for free trade was conflicting using its pro-Americanism. Its protests open divisions within the Reagan administration, which was also seeking to reconcile anti-communism around market pursuits. Despite severe US pressure, the pipeline travelled in advance and the deals were honoured.

The Siberian pipeline dispute saw Britain, however reluctantly, representing a 'Europeanist' perspective to Washington. THE UNITED KINGDOM appeared to be at a crossroads, often mired in contradiction and doubt over future paths. Even for Margaret Thatcher, in her Bruges address of 1988, Britain's future was 'in Europe as part of the Community'. Thatcher's nationalism clashed both with her pro-Americanism and with her intellectual realisation that Britain will need to have some type of European future. Much like other Britons at that time, she exhibited, in Sir Anthony Parsons' words, 'an inclination to carefully turn with relief from the high-flown notions of Euro-idealists to the cosy pragmatism and ethnical familiarity of Anglo-American relationships'.

The Falklands War

The idea of the 'Special Relationship' place against a wartime setting evokes images of the united kingdom and US - 'our main ally' - standing shoulder to make when the chips are down. Military services and intelligence assistance along with identified notions of sentiment would point in that same direction. However, as we see with the Falklands Warfare, Britain cannot count on computerized support from its supposedly close ally. Indeed, the Vietnam Warfare is an excellent, and rare, example of when one point blank refused to support or provide soldiers for a conflict it didn't admit as 'necessary'. Not only did Britain refuse to commit troops to serve along US, New Zealand, Australian, South Korean, Philippine, Thai or South Vietnamese causes in Vietnam, it also regularly criticised American techniques and sustained its small - though controversial - commercial romance with North Vietnam. It is no surprise to learn that this rests amidst an era where Anglo-American relationships were at an all-time low.

The importance of the Vietnam War to the US was matched by the importance of the Falklands turmoil to Britain. To many in Britain, the Vietnam Conflict displayed an insensitive and unnecessary program of anti-communist global containment theory. To many in the us, the Falklands Conflict displayed an insensitive and pointless expression of Britain's imperial recent. Britain refused to support or provide soldiers to the US effort in Vietnam and actually went so far as to regularly criticise American strategies during the battle (as well as continuing its controversial trading romantic relationship with North Vietnam throughout the war). Given that the dining tables were switched, it's perhaps no real surprise that US support for Britain in the Falklands was far from assured.

The War

Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982 created immediate and complex problems for the US which were neatly summarised as:

'Important American passions were over a collision course with one another. Similarly, the Anglo-American special partnership and the basic principle of non-aggression, on the other, our Latin American interactions and our ability to maintain serenity and tranquillity in this hemisphere'.

In the weeks before the invasion, the break down of Anglo-Argentinean diplomacy above the sovereignty of the hawaiian islands led Britain to request American assistance amidst a tense standoff. Al Haig promised Lord Carrington that the US would have a constructive brand, however, British concern mounted about identified American equidistance between British isles and Argentinean positions, and especially about the reportedly 'Latin Americanist' orientation of Assistant Secretary Thomas Enders. The getting of your Argentine party on South Georgia on 19 March provoked new work to golf swing Washington against Argentina. On 31 March, intellect reports warned that a full invasion was imminent. Relating to Robert Renwick, then politics counsellor at the British Embassy in Washington, Haig insisted that the united states 'would have a greater potential for influencing Argentine effect if they appeared never to favour one aspect or the other'.

The invasion induced the dispatch of the British task force and with it, Lord Carrington's resignation. Washington was torn in several guidelines with some, notably Secretary of Defence Caspar Weinberger, urging support for Britain and the rule of law; others, including US representative to the UN Leanne Kirkpatrick, argued that Argentina possessed legitimate cases to Falklands sovereignty, and that US anti-communist interest place in conciliating Latin American thoughts and opinions. Uk Ambassador Nicholas Henderson recalled a discussion with Haig's deputy, Walter Stoessel: 'He looked immensely detached. Perhaps that's the impression British diplomats gave a century ago when we were a great electric power and some smaller country sought our support'.

For his part, Weinberger offered immediate armed forces assistance to the united kingdom. The defence secretary proven a Pentagon committee on 5 April to remove bureaucratic obstacles in the form of aiding Britain. Assistance flowed widely, with the united kingdom receiving everything requested. Admiral Henry Leach, First Sea Lord, later wrote that the American armed forces 'went beyond politicians would have permitted experienced they known in time'. Military services aid to Argentina got already been typically suspended scheduled to congressional concerns about the ruling Junta's appalling real human protection under the law record, quickly disappeared. Unsurprisingly, Buenos Aires changed quickly to question North american 'neutrality'. At a Country wide Security Council reaching on 7 Apr, Haig and Weinberger argued that mediation was well worth attempting, but that, if it failed, the united states should back again Britain. Reagan approved Haig's mediation strategies, declaring that their trustworthiness depended on the looks of American neutrality.

In essence, the US mediation position included the assertion of neutrality over the issue of Falklands sovereignty, although not over the clearly illegitimate invasion. Haig's early on mediation position engaged the introduction of a multinational peacekeeping force, Argentine withdrawal and discussions on the island's sovereignty. Renwick later discovered his fundamental difficulty; 'the British were ready to talk only without preconditions so when Argentina's forces acquired left the islands. Argentina had not been prepared to withdraw its makes. . . until it was promised that the question of sovereignty would be settled - in its favour'. In extreme and complex diplomacy, Haig developed various positions on an interim supervision for the Falklands, with Argentina's flag flying alongside the Union Jack. The London discussions with Haig were difficult. Some older UK officials like Defence Secretary John Nott resented the very notion of American 'mediation'. On 12 April, Nott and Thatcher been successful in persuading Haig to drop the thought of UK causes withdrawing 4, 000 miles to Ascension Island and Argentinean soldiers merely withdrawing with their mainland. Thatcher compared terms which did not embody a return to the conditions of the pre-invasion United kingdom administration. The buck was transferred to Argentina, who declined proposals which did not assure its position on sovereignty.

On 28 April, the US Senate passed an answer stating that the united states 'cannot stand natural' and must help Britain 'achieve full withdrawal of Argentine pushes'. On 30 Apr, President Regan released a formal end to American 'neutrality', blaming Buenos Aires for the inability of mediation and declaring the US would supply the UK material support while Argentina would be subject to monetary sanctions.

With sea and air bombardment of Argentine makes commencing on 1 April, Haig inspired the Peruvian authorities to present proposals which transferred slightly more towards Argentina's position. The sinking of the Argentine dispatch, Belgrano, on 2 May, provoked calls for a ceasefire and ideas that it was part of London's advertising campaign to undermine the Haig tranquility initiatives. Following a lack of the United kingdom destroyer, Sheffield (3 May), London reluctantly decided to yet more proposals, based on the idea of an interim supervision. American pressure on London to simply accept mediation on terms - to quote Nott - 'which could have been seen as a surrender by politics, press and general population thoughts and opinions in the United Kingdom' was powerful. Again, these proposals were turned down by the Argentines. On 17 May, Margaret Thatcher, acknowledging that 'we cannot afford to alienate the United Claims', accepted the idea of a United Nations administrator for the Falklands. Against the immediate advice of Jeane Kirkpatrick, Buenos Aires effectively rebuffed UN mediation. Following the 21 May task force landing, Haig's work were aimed toward avoiding an Argentinean humiliation and toward pressing London on the virtues of magnanimity. During a late night telephone dialog on 31 May, Thatcher convinced Reagan that she could not be likely 'to snatch diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military services victory', requesting Reagan how he'd feel if Alaska were invaded. On 4 June, THE UNITED STATES became a member of Britain in vetoing a UN Security Council call for an instantaneous ceasefire. After casting the vote, Kirkpatrick discovered that the US really designed to abstain. This amazing announcement represented an alteration of heart and soul by Haig whose want to converse this to London induced a wait in mailing instructions to NY.

The Argentine surrender on 14 June was a reason behind great relief for the united states and as British troops headed home, it became difficult to judge the impact of American assist with Britain. US sensitivity to Latin American view encouraged coyness on Washington's part with some later downplaying the importance of American help. For John Nott, the united states was almost indecently keen to save General Galtieri's face, with only France offering unqualified assistance. Indeed, it is worth noting that EEC publically announced its support for Britain three weeks prior to the US released its support. English bitterness about Washington's concern to lessen Galtieri's plight is detailed in Lawrence Freedman's standard record of the issue.

As regarding Vietnam, the Falklands issue raised fundamental questions about the type and reason for the transatlantic alliance. Was the united states bound to come quickly to Britain's part? John Campbell argues that neither the 'special marriage' nor Reagan's regard for Britain identified the outcome. Rather, it was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the 'old fashioned diplomacy' of Anthony Parsons and Nicholas Henderson that swung US thoughts and opinions towards Britain. Additionally, of much greater relevance than Britain's position as a vintage ally was: the need for help in Europe (particularly with Pershing II and cruise missile deployments); America's determination to international legislation; the impudence, as recognized by London of the USSR especially when it refused Argentina's demand to veto UN Quality 502.

While Nott saw Reagan as seriously affected by his dedication to Latin American anti-communism, there is, at least according to Weinberger, never any uncertainty that the President's center was with Britain. When Al Haig found its way to London on 8 April, he 'assured the prime minister, in so many words, that there would be no repetition of Suez'

To some degree, memory of Suez were obvious throughout the complete Falklands instance. For Thatcher, 'English Foreign Policy have been one long retreat' since 1956, and 1982 was the entire year to carefully turn around.

Nicholas Henderson drew less comforting lessons:

'The Falklands problems touched on certain American nerves that experienced proved delicate at Suez: a recessive feeling about colonialism: concern that the English were anticipating the Us citizens to eventually grab the cheque: fret about the Russians: and worries that what Britain was doing would rally other countries against American hobbies'.

In such analysis, the key factor in 1982 was indeed the United kingdom plan, led by Henderson, to cast the crisis in terms of international laws, to emphasise the variations, especially in conditions of international legislation and UN Image resolution 502, with Suez also to woo US general population, congressional and executive branch point of view.

Henderson himself was stressed to keep London from assuming that US support was inevitable. Given the occurrences of 1956, it could very well be amazing that such assumptions were available. However, Thatcher relied on Reagan's camaraderie, believing 'that the US has a duty to aid us'. In fact, the US risked quite a bit in becoming 'entrapped' by Britain. Haig never accepted that the Soviet Union was unconcerned about the Falklands concern and believed that 'whatever the outcome, or especially if there was an extended conflict. . . Soviet influence [would increase]'. Argentina was a useful ally, especially with regards to covert US businesses in Central and Latin America. The fall of the junta may produce conditions conducive to the progress of a leftist anti-Americanism; the short-term damage done to US-Latin American relationships by Haig's 30 April announcement of support for Britain, also quickly became evident. In the Company of American Says (OAS), only the Anglophile Caribbean islands supported the US series. Thomas Enders and Jeane Kirkpatrick both presented that America's Falklands decision place hemispheric relations again many years.

From Britain's standpoint, the US was doing no more than its international and alliance duty. Indeed, Washington was seriously criticised because of its early neutrality and then for actually stimulating the invasion to begin with. Sir Michael Palliser, advisor to the Warfare Cabinet, later said 'Haig could have been pleased with any settlement, including one that offered Argentina everything' There is also the argument, taken up by Labour MP Tom Dalyell, that US General Vernon Walters prompted the invasion by floating the thought of a joint US-Argentine missile bottom part in the South Atlantic. Perhaps more vigorous US reaction to the South Georgia landings would have fended off of the invasion. Against these quarrels, Haig highlights that the Argentineans were warned not to invade and that the Argentineans were cognizant of the close Anglo-American intelligence and defence assistance.

Haig's mediation break up view in London. The British, however, did contain the Secretary's confidence that there would be no repeat of 1956, as well as the concrete proof Pentagon and Reagan's support. As Henderson recalled, the idea that there is no scope for mediation was absurd: 'no one involved in the decision [to send the duty power] thought at that time that it would be bound to lead to conflict'. Henderson and UN Ambassador Anthony Parsons, aided by international secretary Pym, regularly urged London to keep its options open up, and above all, to ensure the retention of American goodwill. The 'conflict party' - led by Thatcher - gambled on Argentinean intransigence, alternatively than risk snubbing Haig. The Argentineans obliged on three situations before Haig's 30 April announcement. A more flexible attitude on the part of the junta could have put London within an extraordinarily difficult position. Admiral Terence Lewin later testified that 'the battle cabinet had with great reluctance agreed' that Haig put his proposals to Galtieri. The proposals 'would indeed. . . have been very hard for the Battle Cabinet or the United kingdom government of all parties to acknowledge'. For Henderson, Haig's mediation was valuable to the British cause. As the task pressure sailed south, 'there was a need for something to fill up the diplomatic vacuum'. Without Haig, 'Argentine intransigence would not have been revealed, and without this vulnerability the American decision to provide support to Britain would probably not have come when it did or have been so categorical'. In her memoirs, Margaret Thatcher used a tellingly different shade. America's pre-30 April position was 'fundamentally misguided'. Yet, 'in practice, the Haig discussions worked inside our favour, by precluding for a time even less helpful diplomatic intervention from other directions, like the UN'.

At the State Department, Europeanists clashed with Latin Americanists. UN Ambassador Kirkpatrick interpreted the problems consistent with her own version of neo-conservative anti-communist realism. At one stage she portrayed her desire to a United kingdom journalist that 'you people would look more at the map'. The Pentagon not only adopted Weinberger's pro-London position, but also respected the logic of its close romantic relationship with the English military. Some sections of Pentagon opinion inclined to view that Britain would lose without North american help. Haig, however, floated above his department's inner conflicts.

Within a month of the invasion, the united states was able to make a clear and general public declaration of support for Britain. The weight of elite, general population and congressional judgment was important in influencing Reagan's adjudication. Nevertheless, even going out of besides Kirkpatrick's Latin Americanist circumstance, it's important to note that not all strands of American opinion directed to unalloyed sympathy for London's cause. Haig pointed to Britain's emotional need, in the Falklands issue, for 'legends and traditions' in the 'afterglow of empire'.

Commentators in the American multimedia criticised the expenses of American effort in such an apparently insignificant arena with a fresh York Times editorial in 15 April urging Haig to 'stay home'. Others interpreted the war as an example of Britain's residual imperial overstretch.

The Falklands was a warfare waged between a parliamentary democracy and a military services dictatorship. Communism, anti-communism and the Cold war were, at least on first inspection, extra issues. Yet it was a discord fought at a crucial juncture of the Chilly War. North american anti-communism cut both ways. Washington feared leftist improvements in Argentina if the junta dropped in Buenos Aires, even as it wished to back its Cold Conflict ally in London. The diplomatic, intellect and military set ups of the Cold War alliance drawn Washington towards London.


On 25 October 1983, the united states launched an invasion of the very small Caribbean island of Grenada, an unbiased member of the British isles Commonwealth. Maurice Bishop's leftist New Jewel Movement had ruled the island since 1979, pulling Grenada in to the ambit of Cuba and nurturing US doubts that it could be used as a hub to move Cuban heavy weaponry to Central North american communist insurgents. Immediately preceding the invasion, Bishop was murdered by a New Jewel faction led by General Hudson Austin. Reagan cast the invasion as a 'rescue mission' aimed at extracting American students on the island. After three days and nights of intense action against New Jewel and Cuban pushes, a 'democratic' supervision was installed under Uk Governor Basic Paul Scoon. The invasion was connected by Washington to the invitation issued to the united states by the Company of East Caribbean Claims (OECS). Imputed motives for the invasion ranged from a aspire to send messages to Havana (and leftist motions in other places in the Americas), to a problem to take stable action following massacre (on 23 October) of 241 US armed service employees in Lebanon.

The Grenada invasion induced extreme embarrassment for Leading Minister Thatcher and her authorities. The threat of invasion had been mooted since Bishop's murder on 19 October. On 21 October, the STATE DEPT. undertook to keep Britain informed folks intentions. On 22 October, Thatcher was briefed about a Country wide Security Council assembly which considered the OECS request for intervention; the US would keep the invasion option open up but would be sure to consult London.

On 23 October, conferences occurred at the English Embassy in Washington where Ambassador Oliver Wright made it clear that Britain was opposed to an invasion. As US Secretary of Talk about George Shultz later noted of these discussions: 'Margaret Thatcher preferred monetary and politics pressure'. Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe assured the home of Commons on 24 October that an invasion was unlikely. The same evening saw two emails from Reagan to Thatcher; one conveying that the united states was considering a direct respond to the OECS need, the next confirming that the invasion would move forward. The Primary Minister's reply was directed at 00. 30am:

This action will be observed as intervention by the american country in the inner affairs of a tiny indie country, however unattractive its routine. I request you to think about this in the framework of the wider East-West relations and of the fact that we will be having in the next few days to provide to your Parliament and people the sitting down of Cruise trip missiles in this country

Thatcher and Howe now experienced the job of explaining to parliament 'how it acquired happened that a member of the Commonwealth had been invaded by our closest ally'. As Geoffrey Howe later recalled: 'The simple truth is that the government have been humiliated by having its views so plainly disregarded in Washington'.

The 26 October Commons debate on Grenada widened into an examination of the 'Special Relationship' across a variety of issues. Denis Healy, Howe's Labour shadow, urged the Perfect Minister to get 'off her knees' before Reagan, and sign up for other American allies in protesting US coverage in Central America and the Caribbean. David Metal, speaking for the Liberal Get together, described a remark related to George Shultz 'that the United States does not will have to agree with Britain'. Relating to Steel, this 'has a corollary. . . Britain does not always have to agree with the United Says'. An ashamed Howe attempted to combine scepticism about the invasion with a generalised defence of Reagan's anti-communism.

Thatcher was less with the capacity of restraining her exasperation and within days of the invasion she was publically condemning the use of power 'to head into sovereign territories'. Howe came to the view that United kingdom sensibilities were sacrificed in the bureaucratic between the express and defence departments.

On the American part, apologies were scarce on the ground. On 26 October, Schultz couched his judgment in very stark terms: the hawaiian islands were 'no longer United kingdom colonies. . . The Caribbean is our neighborhood', and would later accuse Thatcher of forgetting the help given by the united states in the Falklands.

In the Washington Post (28 October 1983) Edwin Yoder scoffed at 'the be anxious in the fine details of constitutionality when, in truth, Sir Paul Scoon have been under house arrest and perhaps in mortal threat'. Even domestic competitors of the battle were unmoved about the inability to check with London with some going as far as to object to the actual fact that Thatcher had been consulted while the Senate majority innovator and the House speaker hadn't.


On 8 Apr 1986, London received an American demand to utilize US air bases in Britain for the bombing of Libya. The submission came following a bomb in a Berlin nightclub had wiped out one US serviceman and hurt 60 others. American intellect had tracked the bombing to Standard Muammar Gaddafi's routine in Libya. The tone of the demand was more than a little imperious, with an answer expected by noon the next day. Matching to Hugo Young, not only was Reagan informing rather than consulting, he was requesting the British leader to renounce her early, publically portrayed, opposition to retaliatory strikes which were difficult to justify under international law. Reagan's communication conceded that US carrier-based aeroplanes, stationed off the North African coast, may be used.

Thatcher's reply was evasive, and increased a range of questions, later enumerated in Geoffrey Howe's memoirs: 'What targets? What would be the public justification? Won't this start a routine of revenge? How about American hostages?' Reagan's reply suggested that he 'was plainly determined to go ahead'. By 13 Apr, Howe, Thatcher and Defence Secretary George Younger, who acquired previously raised his doubts on Scottish radio, experienced discussed their concerns with Reagan's envoy, Vernon Walters. The White House was told that US aeroplanes might use the bases to help expand America's right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter, against specific goals demonstrably involved in the conduct or support of terrorism.

The Foreign Office feared attacks on British isles embassies in the Middle East if clear support received to the US action. Inside the Cabinet, only Lord Halisham looked like unequivocally to returning the US position. For Thatcher, however, and even for the more mindful Howe, British isles interest ultimately lay down in support Washington. The attack occurred on the night of 14 Apr with only a few of the specific focuses on decided with London being strike - a number of civilian goals were hit combined with the France Embassy in Tripoli. United kingdom support contrasted sharply with the attitude of the other Western european allies, with demands to fly through French and Spanish airspace as part of the bombing objective refused.

If it was difficult to sell the Thatcher-Howe collection in Cabinet, the ensuing House of Commons debate revived the embarrassment, albeit in different form, from the Grenada invasion. For the Primary Minister and the Foreign Secretary, the united states was working out its Article 51 rights. Thatcher reminded the House that the UK had also suffered with Gaddafi's excesses, recalling the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984. Moreover, there was 'no uncertainty. . . of the Libyan government's immediate and continuous support of the Provisional IRA, by means of money and weapons'.

In response, Labour innovator Neil Kinnock quoted Sir Anthony Parsons' explanation as a 'kind of vigilantism'. David Material accused the Leading Minister of 'writing a blank cheque for President Reagan'. Past Labour head Michael Feet argued that if Article 51 was a justification for America's action, Thatcher should have urged Reagan to have the matter to the UN Secretary Council. For Enoch Powell, by then MP for South Down, the instance proven how 'flimsy would be our safety against the utilization of bases on British earth for the starting of nuclear operations'. Former Traditional Prime Minister Ted Heath asserted that, in 1973, he previously the courage to deny the US the utilization of bases in Cyprus through the Yom Kippur warfare. For Heath, Article 51 manifestly didn't justify the raid. It had been if Britain was using the 'self-defence' discussion to support the bombing of 'IRA camps on the western coast of Ireland'. Tony Benn, Labour MP for Chesterfield, accused Thatcher of envying 'the People in the usa for being capable of engage in the type of gunboat diplomacy that is now beyond our resources'. He interpreted Thatcher's support for the raid as the price for US help in the Falklands.

The decision to provide agreement to fly F-111 bombers derived from the unpublished agreements of 1951 covering US bases in the UK. Benn persisted:

I want to know very well what would have occurred if the Prime Minister got refused? Will there be a provision that when there is an overriding American countrywide interest British agreement is not required? I really do not know. When the Americans had used the bases without our consent, what would have happened?

Several MPs argued that the united states action was illegal and that the alternative of financial sanctions was not properly explored.

In the US, Henry Kissinger stated that the Atlantic alliance was now a one-way streets, with only the united kingdom willing to lower back America in a proper manner. The recognized drop in Libyan-sponsored terrorism eased the situation, even though the 17 Apr kidnapping of British isles journalist John McCarthy and the murder of two Britons one day early in Beirut boded ill for the wider situation in the middle-east and were directly blamed on Britain's decision to permit the use of its bases. Polls in Britain exhibited common disapproval of Thatcher's support for the raid.

American gratitude to London was portrayed in the Senate ratification on 17 July of an extradition treaty, easing the deportation of Irish republican terrorists. Ratification was highly backed by the Reagan administration. On 31 July, the united kingdom abstained in a UN Security Council vote on the International Court of Justice ruling against US coverage in Nicaragua.

Geoffrey Howe records that although he was now favorably reconciled to his general public position over the Libyan raid, he was 'disconcerted by the weird sequence of occasions':

First, Britain supports US action against Libyan terrorism; second, US supports Britain doing his thing against Irish terrorism; third, Britain condones US-sponsored 'terrorism' against Nicaragua. This was yet another occasion on which Margaret insisted on having the 'special' relationship one bridge too much.

To George Urban, the partnership was now 'becoming one-sided to the idea of embarrassment'.

During the presidency of George Bush Snr, the US was offered 'the best geopolitical windfall in the history of American foreign plan'. The happenings of 1989 to 1992, from the fall of the Berlin Wall structure to the extinction of the Soviet Union, amazed both London and Washington. The new administration converted its attention to the transition to a new order, avoiding triumphalism yet left over true to its primary doctrines of tactical conservatism. American allies generally speaking - not only London - performed the role of spectator as the globe was altered.

At the same time developing London attitudes were being formed by both a cooling in personal relationships at the very top and by anxieties of the 'special relationship' being buried amid new US-German accords. Thatcher observed Bush as consciously distancing himself from her, as a way of sketching a lines under the Reagan era. In Sept 1989, President Bush offered a televised interview to David Frost. Bush was asked which country he regarded as America's closest ally in Europe. He referred to the 'special relationship', but added 'I don't think we ought to have to choose. . . between friends'. Secretary of State Adam Baker was accused of briefing contrary to the British leader, portraying her as a Cold War dinosaur and Germanophobe. Margaret Thatcher found herself as confronting 'an Supervision which noticed Germany as its main Western european partner'. In more measured shades, Geoffrey Howe recalled 'a real conviction for US policymakers that relations with Europe cannot sensibly be dependent on the compatibilities of Anglo-Saxon instinct'. THE UNITED KINGDOM 'was only one of five medium-sized Western european nations, and by no means the most successful - or influential in continental politics'. On 31 May 1989, President Bush known publicly in Mainz the 'relationship in leadership' between the US and Germany. Gregory Treverton published in 1990 that progressively more 'America will dsicover European countries through the prism of Germany'.

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