Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Department

International Studies

Language

English

Publication Title

Review of International Studies

Abstract

The Suez Crisis of 1956 significantly altered transatlantic security. The declining powers of Britain and France were exposed by the United States, causing enduring and troublesome consequences for the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and further demonstrating the prioritization of United States Cold War interests over any kind of transatlantic balance of power or colonial suppression of nationalism. For the United Kingdom and France, their interests lay in previously established roles as imperial powers and in preserving colonial relationships that the United States did not possess. The United Kingdom, victim to a legacy of decline that became apparent with the 1956 intervention, maintained strong ties with the United States. France proved to be an outlier in the Alliance as they struggled to come to grips with an increasingly insecure empire, prompting the re-emergence of Charles de Gaulle who fundamentally changed the direction of France from a transatlantic focus to one inclined to promote European unity. Ultimately, the strategic implications were indicative of the power of the United States. Suez was a major turning point for global power because of the way in which the U.S. shed its post-war adherence to multilateralism, emerging as a clear hegemonic power.

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