By Andrew Scott (auth.)
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Extra info for Allies Apart: Heath, Nixon and the Anglo-American Relationship
With the resulting boost of political will from the top, by the end of June 1971 the outstanding issues were settled through compromise and transitional arrangements or simply deferred. 72 Moreover, with some cause, Heath believed that once in he could adapt the Community to work better for Britain. 76 What mattered, O’Neil stressed, was ‘getting in’. As has been a central argument of this chapter, this point of total commitment had been gradually reached over a period of two decades, as British leaders adjusted their search for global prominence to the changing international context.
Moreover, for all the diplomatic strains of the Heath–Nixon years, at the most fundamental level of shared political traditions and commitments, the Anglo-American alliance remained intact. Certainly, the notion of the ‘special relationship’ lives on, celebrated and derided in almost equal measure. 1 It has been widely seen as the greatest achievement of the Heath government and as marking a major turning point in British history. When the ﬁrst attempts at integration during the 1950s produced the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and then the European Economic Community (EEC), Britain had stayed aloof from the process, seeking to be associated with but not part of a united Europe.
Soviet ambitions of domination will be pursued more ruthlessly. 96 Yet it was at precisely this moment that the White House was facing mounting pressure to withdraw them. 97 Although Nixon pledged to halt the trend, he faced renewed calls to make massive cuts when, in May 1971, Senator Mike Mansﬁeld put forward a resolution calling for US troops in Europe to be halved. Heath had long predicted that if the United States – despite the lessons of Czechoslovakia – became determined to reduce its forces in Europe, the Europeans would be forced to ﬁnd their voice within NATO.