Chapter

Two Allies: Britain and France

Jonathan Colman

in The Foreign Policy of Lyndon B. Johnson

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640133
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652693 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640133.003.0004
Two Allies: Britain and France

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The Johnson Presidency saw particular strain in the bilateral connections between the United States and two of its chief European allies, Britain and France. The relationship with Britain had, by and large, been unusually close since the cooperation against the Axis powers during the Second World War. The ties rested on institutional collaboration on diplomatic, nuclear and intelligence matters. In a demonstration that on occasions the Anglo-American relationship could be a very constructive one, Washington and London used the French demarche as an opportunity for NATO reform. France's policy on Vietnam, in contrast to Britain's qualified support, was one of outright opposition. Paris wanted the United States to announce plans to leave South Vietnam, then an international conference to bring about the ‘neutralization’ of Southeast Asia. Washington rued the French approach, feeling that neutralisation would merely lead to rapid communisation and defeat for American interests.

Keywords: European allies; United States; Britain; France; Anglo-American relationship; NATO reform; Vietnam

Chapter.  9924 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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