Since the end of the Cold War, a central question — arguably the central question — for any state’s foreign policy is how it should relate to the world’s only remaining superpower. For the incoming Labour government the answer was consistently clear. As Blair put it in January 2003, the first principle of UK foreign policy was to ‘remain the closest ally of the US, and as allies influence them to continue broadening their agenda’. The UK was ‘an ally of the US’, Blair continued, ‘not because they are powerful, but because we share their values’.1 Indeed, Blair seemed to share the values of both the Clinton and Bush administrations, forging Labour in the same mould as Clinton’s new Democrats, and sharing enough of the Bush administration’s crusading values to be described as a ‘neo-conservative’.2 For the government’s critics, Labour was simply following in the footsteps of successive post-war UK governments that had been little more than lap dogs to American power.3 For the government’s supporters, its approach was simply the most prudent way to try and influence the White House in an era of unprecedented US strength.4


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Copyright information

© Paul D. Williams 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul D. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BirminghamUK

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