Special Relationship: The United States of America and the United Kingdom

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´Special Relationship´ during the Presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and the Premiership of Tony Blair

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair3
George W. Bush and Tony Blair8

The phenomenon of the 'Special Relationship' between the United States of America (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) was first mentioned by Winston Churchill towards Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 and it has represented strong transatlantic cooperation ever since. The 'Special Relationship' could be based on common ideology or personal relationship. This paper presents the phenomenon of the 'Special Relationship' during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and the premiership of Tony Blair. Firstly, the nature of Blair´s and Clinton relationship is briefly explained. The case of Kosovo is given as a practical example. Second part of the paper focuses on the ties of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. As a practical example of the 'Special Relationship' the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq armed conflicts are given. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

The first decade after the end of the Cold War was full of high expectations, hopes for changes and great challenges for the newly established world order. From the very beginning of the new era, the international community had to face tasks and questions that had not come up in the previous years. Therefore, there was not a verified pattern how to handle these situations and new solutions needed to be carried out. Bill Clinton served as the 42nd President of the US during 1992 and 2001. Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice for the office. Clinton managed to win over the Republican incumbent President George H.W. Bush. The organization and ethos of the Clinton campaign team meant that the Democrats would fight fire with fire. A rapid response to any Bush attack was ensured. The rhetoric of Clinton’s campaign focused on: change, economic revival and health care would be its salient issues. Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour Party in July 1994 and was the youngest party leader ever elected and probably the least traditional as well. This deviation from the traditional beliefs of the Labour Party is characterized in the desire to reform. In the General Election of 1997 the Labour Party won by a landslide. After eighteen years of Conservative government a new fresh start was expected by almost everyone. For Tony Blair himself this was breaking new ground because he had never served in office before. Being a Prime Minister was his first and only occupation in government. As mentioned in the Introduction, the 'Special Relationship' could be based on common ideology or personal relationship. For Bill Clinton and Tony Blair it was both. Bill Clinton as a member of the Democratic Party was supposed to be close to Blair ideologically. Blair was astonished not only by Clinton’s center-left politics, but also by his personality. The two statesmen had met several times before the Labour victory in 1997. The first official visit of President Clinton took place on May 29th 1997. That was a considerably early visit for the diplomatic procedure considering that the General Election took place May 1st 1997. It was seen as a keen gesture towards reinstating of the relations after the reserved relations during Major’s Conservative government. Kosovo

The territory of Socialistic Republic of Serbia included two extensively autonomous provinces - Vojvodina and Kosovo. The province of Kosovo was inhabited mainly by Muslim ethnic-Albanians. The Eastern Orthodox Serbs, however, saw Kosovo as the historic cradle of the Serbian nation. Thus, the dispute over Kosovo does not stay on strategic or economic background. It is based rather on historical, religious and emotional indicators.

The conflict started to escalate in early 1996 with the recognition of the Federal Republic...
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