American diplomats hopeful for Boris Johnson
Tom Rogan/The Independent
President Trump isn’t the only senior US official supporting Boris Johnson’s re-election. Not by a long shot.While Trump lauds Johnson for his Brexit stance and his presumption that they have a shared personal friendship, most US officials — Democrat and Republican alike — support Johnson in spite of his pro-Brexit agenda.The simple reason why? Fear of Jeremy Corbyn. Specifically, fear of what a Corbyn government would mean for the special relationship.Yes, there are outliers here. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, the respective leaders of the new wave and old wave Democratic socialist left, are openly supportive of Corbyn. They see his promise of restored statist economics as an example to emulate. But they are the American outliers on Boris versus Jeremy.The rest of the US political establishment, especially in the national security arena, is firmly with the former. They are with Johnson, even though the majority believe America and Britain would be better off with the latter’s remaining in the European Union.
Let’s start with Trump.The president’s dislike for Corbyn, as openly offered in a radio interview with Nigel Farage last week, takes root in the Labour leader’s unequivocal disdain for Trump. But Trump is also aware of Corbyn’s left-wing politics. Keen to reach a US-UK trade deal and to deepen the Atlanticist relationship outside of the European Union, Trump recognises Corbyn’s countermanding foreign policy agenda. On the flip side, Trump also admires Johnson’s dismissive attitude towards the European Union, an organization he regards as having played previous presidents for fools.Yet as I say, the anti-Corbyn American consensus goes beyond Trump. Corbyn’s attitude towards the post-Second World War US-led international order is the key concern here. While Corbyn’s supporters celebrate his anti-war, anti-American hegemony activist consistency, the US security establishment sees him as a politician determined to undermine American hegemony. He’d probably agree.