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U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the United Kingdom last week took place just over 70 years after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill championed a “special relationship” between Washington and London. Churchill’s 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri, called for a strategic and civilizational partnership against the “iron curtain” descending over Europe. Churchill’s faith in Anglo-American comity drew on his family heritage (he was the child of a transatlantic marriage) and the partnership he had forged with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in their struggle against fascism. Their bond came to symbolize a natural affinity between the United States and the United Kingdom, which intensified during the Reagan-Thatcher era and reached its apotheosis as President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair urged the case for war in Iraq.
Today, however, the relationship is showing signs of strain. Obama’s recent interview with The Atlantic highlighted a