UK Defense Secretary Signals Shift Away From U.S. Partnership Under Trump
Britain’s defense secretary said in a recent interview that the UK must scale back its reliance on the United States under President Donald Trump over concerns that Trump’s isolationist policies will only become more extreme, according to The Sunday Times.
Speaking with the British publication, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the notion that Trump would pull the U.S. further away from its allies and position of great influence in the world “keeps me awake at night.”
In light of Trump’s “America First” approach to policy, the British government must rethink military assumptions that the UK and American forces would always fight side-by-side, Wallace said.
And he suggested that the government should use “the upcoming defence review to buy new kit to ensure that the armed forces do not have to rely on US air cover and spy planes in future conflicts,” The Times reported.
“I worry if the United States withdraws from its leadership around the world,” Wallace told the newspaper. “That would be bad for the world and bad for us. We plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
He continued: “Over the last year we’ve had the US pullout from Syria, the statement by Donald Trump on Iraq where he said Nato should take over and do more in the Middle East. The assumptions of 2010 that we were always going to be part of a US coalition is really just not where we are going to be.
“We are very dependent on American air cover and American intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets. We need to diversify our assets.”