UK Report urges distance from US


UK think-tank, Chatham House, has just released this report:

"which assessed British foreign policy since 1997, says Mr Blair's successor would also have to rethink Britain's role within the European Union and distance it from the US."

In a call for a rebalancing of UK foreign policy, the report determines that the "'disaster' of Iraq and Tony Blair's failure to influence US policy will overshadow his time as prime minister," and "The 2003 invasion and the post-war 'debacle' have damaged Britain's international influence."

Tony Blair’s successor(s) will not be able to offer unconditional support for US initiatives in foreign policy and a rebalancing of the UK’s foreign policy between the US and Europe will have to take place.

A "rebalancing of of the UK’s foreign policy between the US and Europe will have to take place."

Bush and Co. shifting the balance of power to the EU? Was that in the plan?

Was there a plan????

While the report goes on to offer some support for some of Blair's other positions (establishment of the International Criminal Court, global warming and Kyoto Accord, calling for an I/P two-state solution, military campaigns in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, most of his work with Clinton), it paints Blair's ability to influence Bush as:

The post-9/11 decision to invade Iraq was a terrible mistake and the current débâcle will have policy repercussions for many years to come. The root failure of Tony Blair’s foreign policy has been its inability to influence the Bush administration in any significant way despite the sacrifice – military, political and financial – that the United Kingdom has made.

Which leads to the report's conclusion:

His successor(s) will not make the same mistake. For the foreseeable future, whoever is prime minister, there will no longer be unconditional support for US initiatives in foreign policy. Nor will it make much difference who is in power in the United States.

...a new US president, from either party, will certainly make things easier in view of the extraordinary public hostility that George Bush has
generated in Britain and elsewhere. However, like Suez 50 years ago, the Iraq débâcle marks a watershed in British foreign policy that will alter the relationship with the United States for many years to come.

Again, here's the link to the Chatham House report and the BBC story about same.