As the London Telegraph reported, Barack Obama has just returned a bust of Sir Winston Churchill to the British government. The bust was loaned to the White House in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks as a demonstration of solidarity with the United States.
Obama’s surprise decision to send Churchill home is both wrong-headed and crassly insensitive towards America’s closest ally, coming at a time when nearly 9,000 British troops are fighting alongside their American counterparts in Afghanistan. With good reason, there are growing doubts in the UK over the new President’s commitment to the Special Relationship. The President has never even mentioned the Anglo-American alliance in a major policy speech, and has little affinity for Britain.
The Special Relationship is vital to American and British interests on many levels, from military, diplomatic, and intelligence cooperation to transatlantic trading ties. If President Obama does not invest in its preservation, the end result will be a weaker United States that is less able to stand up to terrorism and tyranny, and project power and influence on the world stage.
— Nile Gardiner is the director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation.