The collapse of the US UK special relationship in August 1973 is the focus of the latest BBC Radio 4 programme 'Document', featuring University of Warwick Professor of International Security Richard J. Aldrich. The programme examines a fascinating transcript of a conversation between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger which reveals the depth of the US antagonism towards Edward Heath's pro-European stance.
The transcript reveals Henry Kissinger's frustration at the lack of support by the UK government for American foreign policy. In retaliation Kissinger chose to cut off the Anglo-American special intelligence relationship established during the Second World War. Kissinger urged Nixon that "we should show our teeth" in order to get the British into line.
Heath struck back two months later when the Yom Kippur War broke out in the Middle East. America needed British bases in the UK and Cyprus to fly their spy aircraft over the region. Heath imposed heavy restrictions and the antagonism over spy-flights lasted until the summer of 1974.
The 'Document' programme includes contributions from Professor Aldrich and uses material from his book, GCHQ: The Uncensored Story of Britain's Most Secret Intelligence Agency.
Explore further: Explainer: How to solve a jewel heist (and why it takes so long)
More information: Here is an extract of the transcript which shows President Nixon and Henry Kissinger discussing the relationship with Edward Heath's government. see: www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/place_holder_for/nixonhkpdf.pdf
Document' is aired on Monday 15th August 2001 at 8pm UK time on BBC Radio 4 see: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0137tff