Trump and the souring of a special relationship
The UK government’s approach to both this week’s Nato summit (Report, 7 July), and the visit of President Trump, is symptomatic of its counterproductive stance on national and international security. Recent efforts by the Ministry of Defence to use the Nato summit to secure further budget increases are misguided. Instead of increasing our safety, heavy spending on aggressive military capabilities and power projection is exacerbating global tensions. By the same token, turning a blind eye to Trump’s abusive and degrading rhetoric and actions in the hope of shoring up a superpower alliance deepens global insecurity.
If the UK wants to make a genuine contribution to security, the government needs to invest far more in addressing the underlying causes of global insecurity, such as economic inequality, climate change and poor governance. It should be using its diplomatic clout to increase international focus on these issues, as well as supporting local actors in concerted efforts to bring about durable political resolution of the conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Israel-Palestine and elsewhere. Conflict prevention and peacebuilding are not soft options; failure to make progress on these critical challenges of our time only results in more insecurity for everyone, both in the UK and overseas.
We therefore call for an urgent and comprehensive rethink of the government’s approach to security and international relations, based on systematic commitment to its declared values of human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy and equality. The UK’s security alliances need to work for the common good of all the world’s people. Celia McKeon
Coordinator, Rethinking Security
Mrs May is surely right that the majority of British people understand the “importance of the UK-US alliance” (Report, 7 July). However, that is certainly not an alliance with the opinions and actions of the current president and his administration. Thousands of British people would want to be aligned with those in the United States who are protesting against the huge arsenal of nuclear weapons which the US not only maintains but which is being developed; those fighting to preserve the Environmental Protection Agency and stand up against the destruction of the environment by the climate change-denying president; with those working against the money and resource being put into developing and producing more and more advanced technological weapons to line the pockets of the huge military manufacturers. Our sympathies are with those women and men in the US who are prepared to take non-violent direct action to stem the tide of racism, misogyny, militarism and cruelty of their current leaders. Rae Street
Littleborough, Greater Manchester
You report that President Trump will be spending only a couple of days in London, meeting the Queen and prime minister, before being flown to Scotland for a “private visit”, for the remainder of his trip. The Foreign Office may be following precedent. Almost exactly 47 years ago, on 12 July 1971, a close British ally with a somewhat unsavoury reputation visited the UK, and was given two days in London, including talks with the monarch and PM. He then flew to Scotland for two days including some shopping, sea swimming and military ceremonies. His name? President Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Mark Leopold
Hove, East Sussex
Mr Trump has been invited to this country by our government. He should therefore be treated with civility. He has, however, shown himself to be self-serving, ignorant, vulgar and mendacious. He does not deserve our attention. The best response is to ignore him as much as possible, with minimal publicity and absolutely no demonstrations. He feeds off adulation and will enjoy the attention which demonstrations will provide. Chris Osman
The best response is to ignore him as much as possible, with minimal publicity and absolutely no demonstrations Chris Osman