In its cover story "Axis of the Feeble", Britain's Economist analyzes the hard times that have befallen both George W. Bush and Tony Blair, who "have been improbable soul-mates, the silver-tongued British barrister and the drawling Republican from Texas." Indeed,
this prime minister is as close as any British Labour leader can come to being an American neo-conservative. […] Over the past year, however, the debacle in Iraq and problems at home have turned both leaders from soaring hawks into the lamest of ducks. […] Neither man is going right away. Mr Blair may hang on for another year […] Mr Bush will stay in office until January 2009. […] But an era is plainly drawing to an end. […] The self-confident and often self-righteous political partnership that shaped the West's military response to al-Qaeda and led the march into Afghanistan and Iraq is now faltering. What does this mean for the wider world?Nothing much, seems the author to suggest. On the one hand, "the president has found a new European friend in Angela Merkel", on the other hand, "many of Mr Bush's other foreign allies, such as Spain's José María Aznar and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, have lost their jobs." What's most important, though, according to The Economist, Mr. Bush
must ensure that America is not bundled out of Iraq before its elected government has a chance to stand on its own feet. He must hold the line against a nuclear Iran. He needs to push harder for an independent Palestine, continue the fight against al-Qaeda, resist Russia's bullying of its neighbours and help America come to terms with a rising China. If he is wise, he will work harder than before to enlist allies for these aims, even if America must sometimes still act alone. But it will be harder and lonelier without a confident Tony Blair at his side.