Not so special

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Bob Taylor (Letters, 2 September) tries to sound an encouraging note about the sanctity of the “special relationship” between the UK and the United States ­despite the recent Commons vote against military action in Syria.

I read recently that the UK possesses fewer than 700 military aircraft as against America’s 10,000. If this is a fair reflection of relative capabilities, clearly the US has no need of Britain beyond moral support. (Though no doubt unionists will argue that, despite being such an overwhelmingly junior partner, there is an equal partnership.)

The examples Mr Taylor gives of disagreements since the ­Second World War surely serve only to illustrate that the US will always follow its own counsel and that the special relationship is little more than kindly patronage by the Americans so that ­London does not feel so bad about Britain’s loss of significance in the modern world.

ALAN OLIVER

Battock Road

Brightons, Falkirk

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