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Communication: “What Now for Britain?”The State Department's Intelligence Assessment of the “Special Relationship,” 7 February 1968

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The period 1967-1968 was a difficult one for the Anglo-American relationship, as a result of developments such as British defense cuts “East of Suez.” In the run-up to a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Harold Wilson in February 1968, the State Department's Intelligence and Research Bureau provided a lively and detailed evaluation of American bonds with Britain. The analysis maintained that the relationship was based on deeply established cooperation in defense, diplomacy and intelligence, and that despite recent problems Britain would remain of unparalleled importance as an American ally. The immediate impact of the memorandum in the White House of Lyndon B. Johnson was quite limited, but among other things the document helps to explain the ready blossoming of close high-level Anglo-American bonds during, for example, the Falklands War of 1982. The most important sections of the memorandum are reproduced, and a brief analysis is provided to put the issues in context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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