The Special Relationship on the Rocks
Andrew Mumford challenges the notion of a “special relationship” between the United States and United Kingdom in diplomatic and military affairs, the most vaunted and, he says, exaggerated of associations in the post-1945 era. Though they are allies to be sure, national self-interest and domestic politics have often undercut their relationship.
This is the first book to combine a history of US-UK interaction during major counterinsurgency campaigns since 1945, from Palestine to Iraq and Afghanistan, with a critical examination of the so called special relationship that has been tested during these difficult, protracted, and costly conflicts. Mumford’s assessment of each nation’s internal political discussions and diplomatic exchanges reveals that in actuality there is only a thin layer of specialness at work in the wars that shaped the postcolonial balance of power, the fight against Communism in the Cold War, and the twenty-first-century “war on terror.” This book is especially timely given that the US-UK relationship is once again under scrutiny because of the Trump administration’s “America First” rhetoric and Britain's changing international relations as a result of Brexit. Counterinsurgency Wars and the Anglo-American Alliance will interest scholars and students of history, international relations, and security studies as well as policy practitioners in the field.
Introduction: The "Special Relationship": Origins, Meaning, and Dynamics
Chapter 1: Empires, Old and New: The Politics of Counterinsurgency
Chapter 2: Anglo-American Military Culture and Counterinsurgency
Chapter 3: The Changing of the Guard in the Postwar World: Counterinsurgency in Palestine and the Creation of Israel
Chapter 4: The Malayan Emergency and America’s Asian Cold War
Chapter 5: Mayhem in the Mediterranean: Counterinsurgency in Cyprus
Chapter 6: Middle Eastern “Winds of Change”: Counterinsurgency in South Arabia
Chapter 7: The Counterinsurgency Phoenix: Britain and America’s War in Vietnam
Chapter 8: The Old Country: America and the Northern Irish “Troubles”
Chapter 9: “Shoulder to Shoulder” in the War in Iraq
Chapter 10: Into the Hornet’s Nest: The “Special Relationship” in Afghanistan
Conclusion: The Asymmetrical Alliance: Anglo-American Relations Then and Now
About the Author
"a fasincating interpretation . . . well-documented and well-written"—
"Mumford offers a fresh look at the Special Relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom against the backdrop of some of the most politically trying of wars, counterinsurgencies. Readers will come away with a better understanding of how the "specialness" of that relationship varied, leveraged as it was by both parties in some very ordinary ways."—Antulio J. Echevarria II, Elihu Root Chair of Military Studies, US Army War College
"...readers interested in the special relationship, alliances, COIN, and military history writ large will undoubtedly gain much from Mumford’s chosen case studies."—H-Net
Andrew Mumford is associate professor in the School of Politics and International Relations and codirector of the Centre for Conflict, Security and Terrorism, both at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of The Counter-Insurgency Myth: The British Experience of Irregular Warfare and Proxy Warfare, and coeditor of two books.
252 pp., 6 x 9
252 pp., 6 x 9