US Ambassador: Our special relationship with the UK must endure

The Israel-Hamas war and other conflicts mean the transatlantic partnership is as important as ever

As we begin 2024, I’m reflecting on the future of the special relationship. In light of inflection points we face in the coming year, and the uncertainties we see in the world, including most recently in the Red Sea where Houthi rebels are endangering freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways, I’m certain the world needs the special relationship now more than ever.

I have been the US ambassador to the United Kingdom for more than 18 months. In that time, I’ve seen up close how our two militaries underpin global security and defend democracy around the world. I know soldiers, sailors, aviators, marines, and guardians from both of our countries operate hand in hand as steadfast Nato allies. I was deeply inspired by a visit to a training site here in the UK where allied militaries trained more than 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers. Our countries are rallying democratic partners in support of Ukraine and providing critical security assistance so Ukraine can defend itself against President Putin’s aggression. The US and the UK cannot afford to take a step back; we must continue to uphold our commitments to Ukraine in 2024 so it can preserve its democracy and deter aggression. This is vital to security for the world at large.

The UK is a global leader on matters beyond Europe, as well. I joined President Biden in San Diego last March, where the US, UK, and Australia announced our decision to support Australia acquiring conventionally armed, nuclear powered submarines through the Aukus enhanced security partnership that will strengthen our presence in the Indo-Pacific for decades to come. We are aligned on the challenges we face in the Indo-Pacific, which includes maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait — a matter of global concern. The United States and United Kingdom are also standing up to the People’s Republic of China for its unfair economic practices, atrocities against its Muslim population, and its global campaign of transnational repression activities, including against Hong Kongers. At the same time, we are working with China where our interests align, such as on illicit narcotics and the climate crisis.

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