Having a 'Special Relationship' with the US now seems to be more like having a 'best friend' at school. With some people it changes from year to year, month to month and even day to day.
So, however pleased Nicolas Sarkozy feels today at he and France being proclaimed as the best friends of the US he should also wonder how long this will last (probably until Obama's next trip to China, the next time they look to South America for oil or when he needs real military aid in another conflict).
It is well known that the Obama administration is not exactly pro-British, but to openly say that "We don't have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French people" should have UK policy makers sitting up and taking notice. Especially as the UK has a long record of supporting the US even to the point of currently having suffered more than 300 service casualties in Afghanistan, which is seven times more than the French. And having 10,000 troops deployed in Helmand Province, the French have 3,850.
But this latest development should not come as a particular surprise as this article shows (acus.org/new_atlanticist/back-special-relationship-merry-go-round). And it quotes the Times 'The inauguration of a president who is adored by the British public could ironically spell the end of the special relationship between the UK and the US'.
This loose pronouncement by the US president though is still a kick in the teeth for the UK and shows how shallow the US has become and how quick to forget. Remember what Kissinger said 'America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests'. (Some coalition this has turned out to be, now we know how the LibDems must feel.)
At the beginning of 2010 the question of the 'special relationship' was again raised over the issue of the Falklands when US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley responded by saying “Or the Malvinas, depending on how you see it.”
Or could this be a result of our defence cuts as warned about late last year?
Whatever the reason the UK should be asking itself whether the US is the ally we really want (or can rely on) as we go further into this new decade. The EU wants to control us, the US wants to use and abuse us. Maybe a rethink on the Commonwealth is needed.