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Why did The US Rely on Britain so much?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,516 ✭✭✭ RobitTV

    Why did America rely on Britain so much, During the Cold war?

    Was it because they Had nuclear weapons, Or Britain was the only country that was going to help The US, If a Nuclear war broke out.

    Because if America went to war With the Soviet's, British Nuclear bomber's with American B-52's were going to go to Russia and nuclear bomb target's!

    I Still wonder why the US, Wanted britain's help and support, Its like The US Was going to use Britain as their "puppet"

    Anyone know why?


  • RobitTV wrote: »

    Anyone know why?

    three big reasons:

    geography. the UK has/had access to some strategically valuble locations - Cyprus and Gibraltar in the Med, Accension, St Helena, and Tristan de Chuna in the Atlantic, Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean etc... all of which the US found invaluable for intelligence gathering, and the UK itself occupied a perfect position to act as 'an unsinkable aircraft carrier' a mere 25 miles off the coast of mainland Europe.

    similar world view: both viewed the soviet union as a significant threat, and both were global trading nations who relied upon capitalism and free passage of the seas for their wealth.

    past experience: the UK could be relied on to deliver - it had the capability and military/political will to fight to defend/promote its interests, which broadly coincided with US interests.

  • For all the reasons stated by OS119 above :)

    Another potential reason that the US would have been sure to continuously court the UK was to ensure that the USSR had someone else to worry about.

    In the event of war the USSR would have had to split their resources to attack both Britain and the US rather than the US alone. It meant that the Soviet security services had to expend huge amounts of time, agents and money focusing not just on the US but Britain too.

    In other words, the US were possibly using the UK as an extra layer of protection.

    Even today, the US have a number of airbases and surveillance stations in the UK. Some of these are not far from where I live and I regularly see cars with US plates where I live and even US service personnel wearing working uniform in the shops (not sure that's actually allowed tbh!). So the strategic importance of the UK and the importance of the UK as an ally has not faded with the fading of the cold war.

  • even US service personnel wearing working uniform in the shops (not sure that's actually allowed tbh!).

    It is unless there's a British law prohibiting it. There's nothing in the US regs prohibiting it. Indeed, technically, wearing of civilian attire when off duty or on leave is a privilige. In practice, of course, the privilige is granted by default and has been for at least fifty years, and it's frowned upon today to wear uniform out on the civilian street except when it's inconvenient to change. For example, lunch breaks, or stopping off at the shop while en-route from work to home.


  • It is unless there's a British law prohibiting it.
    Yeah that's what I'm wondering about. I vaguely recall reading something about foreign forces wearing uniform on (non-military) British soil. Can't recall exactly though. May just have been something like 'only with permission of the Government' or something. I'm sure that if there's no US regulations against it that the British Government would allow it, it would be impractical not to considering the number of service personnel living near me.

  • r3nu4l wrote: »
    ...May just have been something like 'only with permission of the Government' or something....

    i imagine its just a default position - if HMG gives permission/invites foreign forces to the UK, it automatically gives permission for them to be in uniform while they are here.

    certainly its never even been a 'tick box' issue with any of the foreign based units i've dealt with for exercises, Cambrian Patrol or courses in the UK.

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