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Event Summaries
June 29, 2017

Event Summary: ‘The future of the Special Relationship’

by
Henry Jackson Society

By Jacob Kishere

On June 28th the Henry Jackson Society hosted Dr Ted Malloch, Chairman and CEO of the Global Fiduciary Governance LLC. Dr Malloch is a former executive board member of the world economic forum, lecturer at Yale University and has served in senior policy positions with the US Senate committee on Foreign Relations and State Department.  Hailing from the republican tradition of Ronald Reagan, Dr Malloch began by paying tribute to the society’s namesake Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson as embodying a greatly needed spirit of bipartisanship.

The Anglo-American relationship after Brexit, Dr Malloch said, can still be one of the most significant alliances in the world and have an outsized impact on the maintenance of liberty around the world. Having discussed a low point in the relationship in the inter-war years, Dr Malloch set out how the Second World War acted as a crucible for unprecedented cooperation and integration in shared intelligence, culture, language and military alliance through the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Dr Malloch made clear that the personal chemistry of heads of state in the Anglo-American relationship has held significant sway over it with notable relationships between Churchill and Roosevelt, Thatcher and Reagan and Blair and Bush. Prime Minister May’s position as first visiting head of state seemed to indicate a strong foundation for the relations with the new administration in Washington, characterised in part by the affinity of President Trump for Scotland. However, with the recent shock general election result it is unclear whether Prime Minister May will indeed be the person around which the new relationship is formed.

The vision of Britain’s proportional role in the special relationship post-Brexit underlay both Dr Malloch’s remarks and the Q&A session with concerns about an end to Britain’s role as the US Atlantic Bridge to Europe. The Henry Jackson Society’s own James Rogers of the Global Britain made remarks on the possibility of an increased supplementary role for Britain and its new Aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean and Gulf as the US appears to pivot increasingly to the Pacific arena. On questions of Russian interference Dr Malloch sought to assuage concerns that it was having effects on the critical day to day intelligence sharing arrangement. On domestic politics concerns were expressed on the incompatibility of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s views on nuclear deterrence and alleged anti-Americanism with current and future administrations.

Dr Malloch, whilst recognising the possibility of Germany becoming the premier European partner post-brexit cast doubts on this given the less then cordial relationship between President Trump and Chancellor Merkel. On a closing note of optimism he made clear that the Trump administration was ready to green light an Atlantic free trade area proposal and expressed his belief that this could bolster confidence around the world in investing in the new ‘Global Britain’ initiative.