Britain, America, and the Vietnam War

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Britain, America, and the Vietnam War

Sylvia Ellis

Publisher: Praeger PublishersFormat: Hardcover

The first serious study of the impact of the Vietnam War on the Anglo-American “special relationship” Isolated from much of the world because of its involvement in the war in Vietnam, the United States saw Britain's support as a key component of its efforts to sway public opinion. This is the first serious examination of the impact of the Vietnam War on the Anglo-American “special relationship” during the years of the Johnson presidency. Using recently released government papers, oral interviews, and transcripts of presidential phone conversations, Ellis discusses the discord between the United Kingdom and the United States over the war in Southeast Asia. She focuses on the pressures placed on Harold Wilson's Labour Government to provide material aid to the war and to remain squarely behind the US war effort in public. Britain's refusal to send troops to Vietnam and Wilson's insistence on trying to mediate the conflict were both sources of tension between the allies.This study explores the extent to which the United Kingdom was pressured to send troops to the combat zone, the part that the personal relationship between Wilson and Johnson played in the tensions, and the evidence that a deal was done to link the maintenance of British defences East of Suez with US support for the pound sterling. It concludes that Wilson managed to walk a political tightrope on Vietnam, providing just enough diplomatic support for the Americans to keep Washington satisfied and putting just enough limits on that support to keep an increasingly vociferous domestic anti-war movement at bay. Part of the International History series Looks at the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Britain Highly relevant to today's debates on the relationship between these two countries in wartime

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