Every time a British Prime Minister visits Washington or a U.S. President comes to London there is talk of a special relationship between the U.S. and Britain. I sincerely doubt that this relationship is special but having a powerful ally across the Atlantic does give Britain additional clout and is therefore in Britain´s national interest. When U.S. President Barack Obama said that France was their closest ally, alarm bells started to ring in Whitehall. It was a snub to Britain but above all it could have important consequences. Britain has done very well standing shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. It has enbled the British government to punch above its weight on the world stage quite successfully and perhaps even retain its seat on the United Nations security council. But what does the U.S. get from this relationship? Well, diplomatic support for all its ventures from Iraq to Afghanistan and also some military help. But in some instances it is just one way traffic. If the U.S. put its weight behind Britain in the dispute over the Falklands then Argentina would have no option but to back down. I wouldn´t call it a special relationship I would say that both countries need each other, Britain far more than the U.S. It is more a relationship built on common policies. For David Cameron the visit to the U.S. is a golden opportunity to show that he is a world leader on the world stage. For Obama it is a visit by a close ally in an election year.