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Britain’s New Internationalism

TOLEDO, SPAIN -- With President George W. Bush’s grand strategy for the Middle East in ruins, his administration has, however hesitantly, begun to put greater emphasis on resolving conflicts by peaceful means. The settlement reached with North Korea, whereby it will dismantle its nuclear program, and the Annapolis conference for an Israeli-Palestinian peace – with the participation of Syria, a pivotal member of the region’s “axis of evil” – are two key examples of this trend.

The United States’ staunchest ally since 2001, Great Britain, has already gone down this path, divorcing itself from its servile alliance with a Bush administration that focused on war and confrontation. Though only a miniature version of America’s imperial predicament, Britain’s current policy, as its new prime minister, Gordon Brown, is defining it, may anticipate the direction taken by the next American president.