There is something keeping Ben Wallace “awake at night”, in his own words. As the Defence Secretary, one can imagine any number of things but, here, he is referring to something quite specific — that, under President Trump, the US is stepping back from its international leadership role. This would mean, contrary to half a century of British defence planning assumptions, that the UK will have to fight wars without US support. It hasn’t done this — apart from a tiny intervention in Sierra Leone in 2001 — since the Biafra War in Nigeria over 50 years ago. Whatever one thinks of the so-called special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, the reality is that it has enabled Britain to maintain a larger global role than it otherwise would have. Falklands campaign? Forget it without American fuel, weapons delivery and satellite intelligence. What about Libya in 2011? Not a chance without American logistical support to the air campaign. (That this support was required even when Libya is approximately 1000 km from our airbase in Cyprus demonstrates how necessary it is). That is not to say that Great Britain has been a wholly dependent partner. Particularly in the world of signals intelligence, the UK is genuinely world class, and useful to its ally. And in other areas too — the military, for instance — the UK has been able to provide genuinely useful contributions to American foreign policy actions where it counts: at the sharp end. In the world of diplomacy, the UK had deep and overlapping networks of influence that helped America create political solutions to problems. This, of course, was nowhere more true than between the US and the EU. Yes, the UK was a junior partner, but it was not completely without merit.