Aidan Hollis on the lesson from wars, John Webster on our military dependence and Ian Sinclair on the truth about US presidents
In recent months, the bizarre behaviour of Donald Trump has left many in the UK worried about the connection with Britain’s “closest ally” (Retweeting Britain First, 29 November). As a Canadian, I find it odd to hear that the US is considered by Britons to be their closest ally. In the great wars of the last century, Americans initially profited from neutrality, delaying entry for three years, until 1917 and 1942; and in the case of the second world war they only committed to the war when they were directly attacked. (In 1941 then Senator Truman even proposed to aid Germany if the Russians appeared to be winning in the East.) Canada and Australia, in contrast, immediately entered both wars alongside Britain. Of more recent vintage, Canadians and Australians fought alongside allied forces in Afghanistan. But we didn’t drag the UK into the Iraq debacle. If you want to know who your true allies are, ask who was there for you when you were in need, and who dragged you into a foolish, unjustified war on false pretences.
Professor of economics, University of Calgary, Canada
• I share Jonathan Freedland’s keenness to ditch the “special relationship” (The special relationship is a delusion, 2 December), which, as he says, the US does not view as we do and about which the UK is unrealistic.