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US – UK rift


President Barack Obama has reportedly launched an unprecedented verbal attack on British Prime Minister David Cameron. Barack Obama has accused Cameron and his European allies of inactivity in Libya after the 2011 ouster of Col. Moammer Gaddafi who had been a dictator in that country for decades. Britain and other European nations had joined the US in military action to prevent a massacre of civilians. Obama said that he had expected the UK to be more proactive in helping Libya during its reconstruction, especially because of its proximity to Europe. Meanwhile Libya has sunk into utter chaos and has turned into a safe haven for Islamic State extremists. Admittedly, the UK has for long adopted an insular foreign policy. Cameron has effected a cut in the defence budget and is chary of global involvement, because of the weakening British economy. The UK was also reluctant to engage in air strikes on Syria when the US and Russia pummelled it. It is however always ready to extend its cooperation in the form of providing bases for the airstrikes by the US and France.

Opinion in the UK is also divided on whether the country should be sitting on the fence in global hostilities. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has been very vociferous on the issue and has made an appeal for opening the door wider in the UK to refugees from Syria and Iraq. Britain lags behind Germany in this respect. Why Obama has suddenly gone gunning for an old ally like David Cameron seems to be related to the coming Presidential elections in the US. He probably wishes to match Donald Trump’s anti- Islamic Jihad.

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