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Special Relationship What are the Strategic Choices available to the UK after the US Pivot to Asia

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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The declaration of a United States pivot to Asia poses some compelling challenges, particularly for the United Kingdom which has, increasingly, adopted a position on world affairs almost entirely driven by its close relationship with the United States. The question posed by the traditional allies of the United States in Europe, and elsewhere, is just how the new Asian strategy will affect United States commitments in the rest of the world as it redeploys finite, and, most likely, reducing, resources to meet new challenges. The dilemma for Britain in particular is how to retain its influence on the United States and thereby maintain its current position as a world power, albeit in the second rank. This paper, therefore, examines the pivot from the perspective of the United Kingdom, establishing the importance of the region to the United Kingdom before examining a number of strategic choices available to Britain to complement or support the US strategy. It will argue that, far from being a threat, the new Asian strategy provides a number of opportunities for the United Kingdom to strengthen and deepen the Anglo-American relationship as we move into an increasingly interdependent, global, era.

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