Prospects for the UK–U.S. Special Relationship
U.S. military ties with Britain are sheltered from Brexit storm, officials say defense ties. [Brexit highlights a crisis in democracies worldwide]. The United States and the United Kingdom share a special relationship. The American Revolutionary War ended in , with Great Britain issues and global problems and share major foreign and security policy objectives. and law enforcement activities, as well as political and military relations, and public affairs. British–American relations, also referred to as Anglo-American relations, encompass many . While the goal of attaining independence was sought by a majority known as Patriots, . The British Army operated fiver forts in territory assigned to the U.S. in the peace treaty in modern-day Michigan, Ohio and New York.
It plans to accelerate the purchase of some of the F multirole fighters on order so that in it should have 42 aircraft, including 24 based on aircraft carriers. The number of armed drones will grow from 10 to The military will also modernise its reconnaissance and transport aircraft. However, the implementation of these plans will not completely offset the earlier reductions and some important programmes have been delayed.
The armed forces, which were cut by 30, soldiers since will be maintained at the level of abouttroops. The number of Challenger 2 tanks will be reduced from towith the lighter Ajax combat vehicles replacing the heavier equipment. Instead of the 25 frigates and destroyers available inthe navy will maintain 19 large vessels with the possibility to increase the number in the s.
Plans to replace four submarines armed with Trident nuclear ballistic missiles are delayed, with the first vessel expected to enter service after instead of Therefore, the United Kingdom, which by the end of had conducted the highest number of airstrikes, after the U. The UK plans to increase its political and military involvement in the Persian Gulf region.
In Decemberit announced it would strengthen cooperation with regional partners in combating terrorism and the influence of Iran, including through expert support.
Init opened a naval base in Bahrain and plans new military facilities in Oman that will support maritime and land-based activities. The British government also announced it will support the U. At the same time, the British government opposes the normalisation of relations with Russia, which seems to be one of the major foreign policy aims of the new U. Britain is also significantly engaged in strengthening of Eastern Flank of the Alliance, where British troops will lead a battalion-sized battlegroup in Estonia, one of four such units to be deployed in the region.
Policy & History
Such a divergence of interests may lead to tension that could weaken the special relationship between the two countries.
Conclusions The UK maintains significant military potential, which is unique in Europe. However, in recent years it has been visibly weakened. Should Brexit bring negative consequences for the British economy, the planned reconstruction of some lost military capability could be difficult to achieve.
This would limit the potential for British cooperation with the U. The relations between the two allies will depend to a large extent on U. But it is not just direct trade that should be considered; our defence industries are so intertwined, that British exports to other countries often include US made components, and vice versa, some US exports contain UK components.
All of this Transatlantic trade and cooperation is important to both our economies. But it is also important to both our military capabilities. We know that the UK benefits from being able to buy specialist equipment like US developed Night Vision goggles, which give an advantage to our troops on the front line.
And the UK developed pelvic protection system, which reduces the severity of injury from grit and dust in a blast, currently is helping to protect the US Marine Corps on its operations.
These examples highlight how free trade helps to save lives. This is why the UK government is extremely committed to the Defence Trade and Cooperation Treaty, which has just had its first anniversary. The Treaty is rapidly becoming a working reality. The first government to government transaction recently took place under this Treaty, through which the UK procured components for the Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft programme, a bilateral success story which is running several months ahead of schedule, as I was reassured to see when I visited Greenville in Texas on Monday.
An encouraging flow of UK companies have already signed up to join the approved community of industrial partners, giving them access to the opportunities created by the enhanced cooperation between our two countries.
Weighing up Britain's defence relationships
We want to do all that we can to encourage inward investment from US companies, and to help those companies work in partnership with the best of UK industry.
Our Defence and Security Industrial Engagement Policy invites overseas-based companies to work with UK companies and other institutions. A number of other American firms are in discussions to join and take advantage of the opportunities the scheme offers, making clear their commitment to be a long term partner of the MOD. I believe the UK is a good place to do business. Many US companies agree and have subsidiaries in the UK, which they tell me they regard as the best location from which to develop their defence business throughout Europe and the growing defence markets of the Middle East and North Africa.
But we are not complacent, and we are trying to make the Ministry of Defence easier to do business with: This gives our suppliers more information about our major equipment priorities.
Crucially, unlike equipment plans under the previous government, it is based on a balanced budget. So it allows the defence industry to plan and invest in future capabilities with much more confidence.
It also gives our armed forces certainty about the future equipment they will be able to use. Reform The UK has already undergone significant reform in defence. The defence budget has been balanced for the first time in a generation, eliminating the black hole our Government inherited back in That has meant some tough decisions have been taken. The decommissioning of some older platforms, cancelling some contracts and reducing personnel numbers, including through redundancies, these have all been difficult decisions.
We would have liked to do things differently in an ideal world.
Special Relationship - Wikipedia
But we do not live in an ideal world, as your Department of Defense is now funding out. In the real world, we have chosen to abandon what was an overheated and essentially aspirational equipment programme, in favour of one that is sustainable, fully-funded and deliverable.
And, in my own area there is still a good deal of reform taking place. A core element of our Defence Transformation Programme is reforming our acquisition system. Under the Materiel Strategy, a compelling case has been made for reform.
Analysis has shown that cost and schedule overruns have resulted in significant additional costs to the defence budget of hundreds of millions of pounds each year. The Materiel Strategy is seeking to address this, and is focussed on three main areas. Firstly, the overheated defence budget. We have worked hard to balance the defence budget, as I have already said, but although much work has been done this has not fully addressed the underlying issues which cause underperformance in defence acquisition.
Secondly, an unstable interface between requester and deliverer. At present, the moral imperative to ensure our servicemen and women in theatre have the best possible equipment and support can lead to demands to incorporate changes over short timescales and at any point in the programme, making accurate cost and time estimating difficult. Thirdly, insufficient skills and freedoms within the Defence Equipment and Support organisation. The Material Strategy must address these three aspects, and our objective is to find the optimal way to improve efficiency in the process of procurement and to cut waste.
We believe the private sector can help and we are looking carefully at how best this can be done. In the near future we expect to launch the formal assessment phase for the Materiel Strategy Programme.
This will be a significant milestone towards the delivery of an improved acquisition system. The assessment phase will focus on developing the information required to make a rational decision between two options: A commercial negotiation to enable us to understand how a government owned contractor operated, or GOCOoption would work, and the costs and benefits associated with such a model; And secondly the development of a costed proposition for making our existing acquisition organisation the best it can be, while remaining within the public sector.
The final decision between the two options on the future operating model will be made at the end of the assessment phase, scheduled for summer Whatever option we select, we will work with you as our major partner as we proceed through the assessment phase to identify any challenges and agree how we best manage them. To this end, my staff are directly engaged with the task force, established by Frank Kendall, to explore what a GOCO decision might mean for our joint business with the US.
I think this highlights one of the many advantages of our close relationship, which is that we can openly and frankly share our collective experiences as we go through our own respective processes of reform.
This is essential, because we are not operating within a vacuum. Fiscal realities apply pressure to both Britain and the United States. And nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. Who knows, if we are able to introduce private sector skills and expertise successfully into our defence procurement, other countries may follow.
Many are looking on with interest. It has happened before, where Margaret Thatcher started reforming our telephone, oil and gas, electricity and water industries, other nations swiftly followed. Conclusion But to conclude on defence, I believe we are entering a new era of defence cooperation between our two nations. One which acknowledges changing geopolitics and economic realities. Important elements of this new era are recognised in the Defence Trade and Cooperation Treaty. It reinforces our commitment to keep our markets open and deliver the best possible equipment to those on the front line.
This benefits our defence industries, who remain competitive and have access to major export markets; benefits our armed forces, who are unhindered in their ability to develop the capabilities that protect all of us; and it benefits our tax payers, who get the best value for money.
The great contradiction in the term protectionism, is that it protects no one, particularly in the context of defence. But the UK-US defence relationship is not just about trade, or collaborative research, or combined exercises, or shared equipment. Fundamentally, it is about trust.