Across the Atlantic, Alex Massie wonders what Obama means for the the US-UK "special relationship," recently damaged in part by friction in Afghanistan and Iraq between US and British military forces. Or, rather, a sense among US forces that the Brits aren't all that effective.

This too seems fair enough. Given the appallingly under-funded, under-equipped nature of the UK armed forces it's entirely reasonable for the Americans to wonder if the advantages of the political cover Britain provides are beginning to be outwieghed by the shortfall in British military capability. Having spent a decade refusing to fund the armed forces properly, this is a situation for which Brown is largely responsible himself.

 "It would be nice," he concludes, "if the transatlantic relationship weren't quite so humiliating." No doubt. But maybe wait to whether America is still solvent in another year or two and then reasses.

--Michael Crowley