School of Politics and International Relations

The Anglo-American Military Relationship: Arms Across the Ocean

Book cover for The Anglo-American Military Relationship

Congratulations to the School of Politics and International Relations' Professor Wyn Rees on the publication of his new book The Anglo-American Military Relationship: Arms Across the Ocean (Oxford University Press).

This book argues that Anglo-American military cooperation makes an important contribution to the ‘Special Relationship’ and that this has frequently been neglected in the literature. It uses a conceptual lens of historical institutionalism to provide insights into how military doctrine, practical cooperation, and narratives underpin the way the British military have worked with their American counterparts in the post-Cold War era.

The British have found military cooperation with US armed forces difficult to achieve because of their greater size and strength. This pattern of cooperation has been occurring within a dynamic environment in which the nature of warfare has been evolving. New digital technologies have been transforming the battlespace and the post-Cold War period has enabled the two sides to intervene in emergencies where the use of force has been employed in highly selective ways. The US and the UK have been called upon to fashion new military doctrines to address peacebuilding and nation-building tasks and prepare to encounter adversaries who pursued asymmetric military strategies.

Aligning with the US military has generated risks as well as benefits for UK armed forces. It has required the UK to sustain a breadth of capabilities and to engage in tasks that have weighed heavily upon its resources. It has led British decision-makers to look at global problems through a lens conditioned by US priorities. This has led to tensions between the two sides that are explored in the book.

Professor Rees in an International Security expert and also a member of the Centre for the Study of Subversion, Unconventional Interventions and Terrorism. He has published extensively on Anglo-American military relations and contemporary European security.  

Congratulations Wyn!

Posted on Thursday 7th March 2024

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