President Barack Obama's defence department has warned that deep cuts in the UK defence budget could damage the so called 'Special Relationship' between the US and UK.
Reported in the Telegraph, which is going to do a series of articles in the subject, it is claimed that the Pentagon warned that the US was worried that "Britain’s cuts could widen the transatlantic divide in military power and spending".
Under NATO agreements participating countries are committed to spending 2% of GDP on defence, something it seems only a few including the US and UK currently do. There is a worry that the UK defence spending will fall to as little as 1.7% of GDP after the cuts.
There you have it. The 'Special Relationship' that the UK has with the US is not built on a history of struggle as in WWII. It is not founded on core beliefs, or on common social aims, not even on a commonality(?) of language and it does not rely on trade between our two countries. There is no special relationship on a vision of the world for the future, other maybe than the continuance of US dominance.
The special relationship it appears hinges on how big a stick we carry. When the US calls can it rely upon a credible ally to stand next to it in it's hours of need. And by credible we mean well armed.
This flies in the face of theories that the US wants to see the UK and EU defences merged. The UK has always been very quick to jump to the aid of the US and they recognise this. But if we in the UK can no longer supply both political andÂ military support in sufficient numbers then the US may quickly lose interest.
One also wonders if the Trident replacement, a huge investment that we will in all probability be going to the US to supply us with, was a factor in these 'discussions'.