Will Obama end UK's special ties with U.S?

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Washington, Mar.1 (ANI): Hints from the White House suggest that the Obama administration might just call an end to Anglo-American fealty.

According to The Telegraph, word is spreading through political Washington that Obama wants to shake up the way the US government relates to its allies, which will leave little space for the sentiment of old ties.

There was a concrete clue when the White House announcement of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's trip was made last Saturday.

Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs declared: "The United States and the United Kingdom share a special partnership."

Those familiar with the thinking of Obama's top team say that use of the word "partnership" rather than "relationship" is an important distinction - it illuminates Obama's belief in practical measures that work, not the old way of doing things.

A Washington official who is close to several members of Obama's inner circle said: "They craft every word for the stone tablets. Words are what they do. It is not a mistake.

"A partnership is a business arrangement based on what you can do for Obama, not a relationship like a marriage that thrives through thick and thin until death do us part. He'll judge the specialness of a partnership with Britain on what he gets out of it."

In return for concrete support, Obama is expected to offer to listen more closely to British advice than George W. Bush did. But insiders say he will be ruthless in cutting adrift countries who do not cooperate with his global agenda, whatever their historic relationships.

A British official said: "I don't think Obama is steeped in the tradition of the special relationship going back to Churchill and Roosevelt.

In the six decades since in which Winston Churchill first coined the phrase special relationship, successive American presidents have paid ritual obeisance to the notion that Britain should assume a place at the White House top table.

Now even allies of Obama believe he intends to extract a higher price for access to the corridors of his power.

Steve Clemons, of the New America Foundation think tank, who has links with the higher echelons of the Obama administration, said that Britain would be expected to make sacrifices in return for influence.

Brown comes seeking substantive agreements on economic matters ahead of the G-20 summit in London next month, and hopes also for a whiff of Obama's stardust to revive his poll prospects at home.

His wife Sarah will have a separate audience with First Lady Michelle Obama later on Tuesday afternoon.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has invited Brown to address a joint session of congress on Wednesday, before a lunch with legislators. The 30-minute address will allow Brown to lay out his conception of the special relationship and boost his leadership credentials at home. (ANI)

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