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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > January 2017 > Should the UK stop pretending Trump’s US can be its best friend?

Should the UK stop pretending Trump’s US can be its best friend?



Even if Donald Trump had not been elected, there would be good reasons to rethink the special relationship. The United States is in decline, set to be eclipsed economically by China and militarily checkmated by Russia. So why would Britain wish to hitch its future to a fading world power?

There are also ethical reasons to question our ties with Washington. For much of the post-war era, under both Republican and Democrat presidents, the US has acted like a corporate and military bully. Its multinationals have pillaged the Earth’s peoples and natural resources, laying waste to the environment, rigging world trade in its favour and overthrowing democratic governments that got in its way. In the process, the US has amassed a vastly disproportionate 40 per cent of the world’s entire personal wealth.

With military bases and installations in 70 countries and territories, and having invaded, bombed or interfered in 50 nations since 1945, Washington has exceeded, without direct rule, the reach of the Roman and British empires; often outdoing their violent excesses, as with the indiscriminate mass bombing of Vietnam and Cambodia.

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In Prospect’s January issue: Adam Tooze and Francis Fukuyama examine the “American Century.” Tooze says that the 1917 opened the door to the future because the US seized the chance to lead, rather than for the Russian Revolution. Fukuyama says that the US has fallen from its perch, a change embodied by the election of Donald Trump. Anna Blundy puts Samuel Pepys on the couch and uses his diaries to psychoanalyse the Restoration’s chronicler. Also in this issue: Chris Bickerton examines the rise of populist parties across Europe, Peter Tatchell and Malcolm Rifkind debate whether the Uk should stop pretending Trump’s US can be its best friend, Philip Collins reviews a collection of Brexit books and DJ Taylor examines Alan Bennett’s diaries.
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