Grand strategy and the “special relationship” [br]discussed at Clements Center/King’s College London conference[/br]

Nov 10, 2014

The first conference was held at the University of Texas at Austin in November 2013 and was titled “Diplomacy, Alliances, and War: Anglo-American Perspectives on History and Strategy in the September 11th Era.” Please click here for an event transcript of last year’s conference.


Grand Strategy and the Anglo-American World View: A Century of the Special Relationship

King’s College London




9:00-10:45am              Panel 1: World War One on its One Hundredth Anniversary

Fighting together for the first time as allies, how did this formative experience shape the United Kingdom-United States ‘Special Relationship’?

  • Moderator: Gary Schmitt, American Enterprise Institute
  • John Bew, King’s College London – ‘WW1 and the Birth of Anglo-American “Realpolitik”’
  • Tom Donnelly, American Enterprise Institute – ‘From Antipathy to Alliance: How America Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Great Britain’
  • Charlie Laderman, University of Cambridge – ‘The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention in Anglo-American Diplomacy’
  • Brendan Simms, University of Cambridge – ‘Hitler’s View of Anglo-American Grand Strategy after WW1’

*American Enterprise Institute sponsored panel

10:45-11:00am            Coffee Break

11:00-12:45pm           Panel 2: The Anglo-American strategic tradition?

Is there a ‘shared’ tradition in Grand Strategy in terms of approaches to international politics? What did the US take from the British experience? How has the United States influenced the British approaches to strategy and diplomacy? How have other nations perceived the US-UK alliance?

  • Moderator: Paul D. Miller, Clements Center
  • Tim Hoyt, Naval War College – ‘From Ireland to Iraq: Opposing the Anglo-American Strategic Tradition’
  • Andrew Lambert, King’s College London – ‘The Transfer of Power Between the UK and the United States’
  • Frank Gavin, MIT – ‘Friends of Frenemies? The Puzzling Nature of the Anglo-American Relationship’
  • Hal Brands, Duke University – ‘America and Grand Strategy’

*Cambridge University sponsored panel.

1:00-2:30pm               Lunchtime Keynote: Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service
                                   ‘Intelligence Sharing and the Anglo-American Relationship’
                                   Moderator: Michael Goodman, King’s College London


2:30-4:15pm               Panel 3: Forging the Ties

To what extent has the so-called Special Relationship depended on iconic partnerships between the United States and the United Kingdom leaders, or do the operational linkages in defense, intelligence, and diplomacy play a more substantial role?

  • Moderator: Michael Rainsborough, King’s College London
  • James Ellison, Queen Mary University of London – ‘The Critics of the Special Relationship’
  • Tom Mahnken, U.S. Naval War College – ‘The Sinews of Alliance: the US-UK Relationship in Practice’
  • Sir David Omand, King’s College London – ‘A former practitioner’s view’
  • Kori Schake, Hoover Institution – “‘Permanent Amity”: The Special Relationship and the War of 1898’

4:15-4:30pm               Coffee Break

4:30-6:15pm               Panel 4: In War and in Peace

Wartime partnerships may be the most visible manifestations of the Anglo-American alliance, but it has also endured and evolved in peacetime.  What have been the main peacetime features, successes, transition points, and challenges in the evolution of the relationship?

  • Moderator: John Bew, King’s College London
  • Jeff Engel, Southern Methodist University – ‘Cold War Transitions: The Special Relationship Under George H.W. Bush, Thatcher, and Major’
  • Ryan Evans, War on the Rocks – ‘The Afghan Experience’
  • Sir Nigel Sheinwald, King’s College London – ‘The special relationship in the Blair-Bush era’
  • Joshua Shifrinson, Texas A&M University – ‘The Special Relationship Reconsidered: Revising the Origins of the Anglo-American Alliance’

7:30pm                        Keynote Dinner: Walter Russell Mead, Bard College and The American Interest
                                    ‘The Special Relationship: Another Hundred Years’
                                     Moderator: Celeste Ward Gventer, Clements Center




9:00-10:45am              Panel 5: The Commercial Dimension

How do the US and UK business communities maintain the private-sector sinews of the Special Relationship and promote free enterprise?

  • Moderator: Paul D. Miller, Clements Center
  • Lord Gowrie, former Chairman of Sotheby’s and former Minister of State for the Arts
  • George Seay, Annandale Capital
  • Shawn Wells, East Lodge Capital Partners

10:45-11:00am            Coffee Break

11:00-12:45pm           Panel 6: The Special Relationship Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

What is the future of the US-UK relationshipin a time of volatility? Will the relationship survive and endure?

  • Moderator: Ryan Evans, War on the Rocks
  • Ted Bromund, Heritage Foundation – ‘The US/EU/UK Triangle’
  • Alexander Evans, King’s College London – ‘The Future of the Special Relationship’
  • Peter Feaver, Duke University – ‘Who Needs the Special Relationship Anymore?’

1:00-2:30pm               Lunchtime Keynote: Sir Lawrence Freedman, Former Vice-Principal, King’s College London and former Head of Department of War Studies
                                    Moderator: Michael Rainsborough, King’s College London