Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 342–361 | Cite as

Exemplary ‘friends and allies’? Unpacking UK-US relations in the early twenty-first century

  • Adam D. M. SvendsenEmail author


In this article, the general Anglo-American relationship from 2000 to the end of 2005 is critically analysed. This in-depth evaluation of an important era in recent twenty-first century UK-US relations is accomplished through unpacking the relationship into its different aspects. Drawing on the established interpretive ‘schools’ of Anglo-American relations, ‘evangelical’, ‘functional’ and ‘terminal’ dimensions of UK-US relations are examined in succession. This analysis is undertaken along with reference to ‘good’, ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ aspects. The question of whether the UK and US can be deemed ‘exemplary “friends and allies”’, is considered. This article concludes that ultimately, during the period under examination (2000–05), a shortfall in that last condition was palpable and, amid several trade-offs being fashioned, the UK should have better ‘held its nerve’, particularly over the controversial issue of Iraq.


Anglo-American Relationship UK-US relationship ‘Special Relationship’ Anglo-American relationship analytical framework 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Military Studies, Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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