Strains in the Alliance

A dispute over a jet fighter is threatening to drive a rare wedge between London and Washington

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her British counterpart, Jack Straw, were the picture of transatlantic harmony as Rice visited Straw's constituency in Blackburn, England, last week. Their good cheer reflected the continuing official closeness of their two countries--the tightest of coalition partners three years into the war in Iraq despite the opposition of much of the rest of the world and the fact that, as Rice conceded last week, "we've made tactical errors, thousands of them," in Iraq. (She later said she meant it "figuratively.") But not everyone in the British government is smiling. A dispute over a jet fighter...

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