And we may have "a more influential role at the top table"by Richard Dearlove / November 21, 2016 / Leave a comment
Read more: Will Trump’s security proposals be resisted? Look at the history
If President-Elect Donald Trump is really the belligerent isolationist of his campaign rhetoric, then the United Kingdom’s national security is in a very difficult and potentially dangerous place. The two pillars on which our national safety rests are membership of the Nato alliance and a close partnership with the US which covers the full range of our defence, intelligence and security capabilities. Trump has been disparaging about Nato and until his foreign policy and national security teams are appointed we do not know what importance he will give to the “Special Relationship.”
That relationship is looking tarnished. Barack Obama’s comments about Brexit Britain going to the back of the US’s trade negotiation queue, even if they were prompted by Cameron or Osborne, were hardly the considered words of someone who believed in the relationship come what may.
There is no going back now, whatever the gainsayers may think. We are therefore entering a period of great uncertainty and profound change—but once the noxious atmosphere of the presidential campaign is dispersed and most of the uncertainties diminished through indications of new policies and appointments to the next administration, Trump may actually turn out to be good for the United Kingdom’s safety.
Trump’s primary populist agenda will be largely domestic, with the notable exception of trade with China. But I have it on good authority that, on his broader approach to foreign policy and national security, he wants and needs a close friend. Only two countries at the moment could possibly qualify for that role: the United Kingdom and Australia. Geography, together with the longstanding history of security co-operation, will comfortably allow both to be his best friends without much overlap.
So expect to see Churchill’s bust back in the Oval Office, Brexit Britain at the front of that trade negotiating queue and an increase in the number of cypher phones linking the staff of both nations’ National Security Councils. Forget the pivot to Asia and welcome back the spirit of…