London Laments the Collapse of “Global Britain”

Since the beginning of the U.S. announcement to withdraw from Afghanistan, the British establishment has exploded in indignation against President Joe Biden’s decision, as we reported last week. Beyond the issue of Afghanistan as such, the hysteria in the United Kingdom is driven by the discredit ing of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Global Britain” policy (cf. SAS 13/21).

Announced last March with the release of the Global Britain in a Competitive Age: Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy., it is an imperialist strategy that depends on leveraging Britain’s “special relationship” with American muscle to spread British influence across the globe. “Our influence will be amplified by stronger alliances and wider partnerships –none more valuable to British citizens than our relationship with the United States,” the document states. Various spokesmen for the establishment explained that for the UK to maintain the global status it had as the British Empire, it must remain America’s number one ally. President Biden’s recent moves have upset that balance.

As Tony Blair complained in his Aug. 21 blog, if the United States no longer coordinates its strategy with Britain, “we are at risk of relegation to the second division of global powers” (cf. SAS 34/21). Andrew Rawnsley, Chief Political Commentator of the Sunday Observer, wrote on Aug. 22 that Johnson’s “Global Britain” has been exposed as “impotent and friendless” by Biden’s decision-making on Afghanistan.

“When it came to the calls that mattered over Afghanistan, Mr. Johnson’s capacity to influence Mr. Biden was less than that of the president’s dog,” he lamented.

Lord Kim Darroch is the former U.K. ambassador to the United States who was de facto expelled from Washington in 2019 for working to undermine Trump’s Presidency. He also fears that the Afghan withdrawal risks undermining the Global Britain project. It is going to take “quite a long time for the West as a whole,” he told BBC, “to recover from all this, to recover our reputation.”

And, finally, a revealing comment from the Mail on Sunday tabloid: “Across Whitehall and in British embassies around the world, officials and diplomats are adjusting to the fact that Mr. Biden has adopted an America First policy every bit as isolationist as his predecessor’s” –that is Donald Trump’s policy of ending regime change wars.

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