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Nile Gardiner, a leading authority on transatlantic relations, is director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. Read his research.
The resignation this week of the British ambassador to Washington has made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sir - Kim - Darroch - Publication - Cables
Sir Kim Darroch resigned following the publication of leaked diplomatic cables that revealed he had been sharply critical of the Trump administration, calling it “inept” and “chaotic.” President Donald Trump condemned Darroch’s negative comments, prompting the British government to issue a defense of their representative in the United States.
The events of the last few days highlighted tensions which already existed between the Trump White House and Theresa May’s Downing Street, especially over the prime minister’s handling of Brexit negotiations with the European Union, which the U.S. president has described on several occasions as highly ineffective.
Spat - Media - Commentators - America - Europe
The diplomatic spat has prompted media commentators in both America and Europe, often in hysterical terms, to pronounce that the U.S.-U.K. partnership is dying and irreparably damaged. In the words of the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, the special relationship “is in tatters.”
Some have also suggested the leaks will have a chilling effect on other foreign diplomats in Washington, with ambassadors now too afraid to report back to their governments in a candid manner.
Case - Media - Speculation - Reality
As is often the case with over-hyped media speculation, the reality will be very different.
The British government is conducting a widespread investigation into the leaks and will be taking steps to ensure this kind of incident doesn’t happen again, or at least will be far less likely. Other major U.S. allies will probably take similar steps. European Ambassadors to Washington, from Paris to Berlin, will no doubt continue to deliver frank assessments of U.S. policy back to their capitals.
Art - Diplomacy
The art of diplomacy will continue to be conducted...
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