France has emerged as America’s closest European ally in security policy

Don't know if this is a good thing or not....

Cheese-eating warriors


France has emerged as America’s closest European ally in security policy

Nov 29th 2014 | PARIS |

A DECADE ago, when France led anti-American opposition to the 2003 Iraq war, the country was seen in Washington as pesky and unreliable. President Jacques Chirac had threatened to veto the invasion at the UN Security Council, and France refused to take part in the coalition that subsequently overthrew Saddam Hussein. In a reflection of the sour political mood, the qualifier “French” was removed from “fries” at cafeterias on Capitol Hill.

Ten years on, the turnaround is arresting. For the first time since then, France and America have been carrying out air strikes in Iraq, on Islamic State targets. France was the first ally to join the American-led campaign. This week it sent extra fighter jets to Jordan, to back up those operating from a French base in Abu Dhabi. Besides its readiness to strike Iraq, France has proved hawkish on Syria and Iran, sent troops to thwart a “pre-genocidal” situation in the Central African Republic and is leading the fight against jihadism in the Sahel. “France has emerged as one of America’s most activist and steady European partners on security issues outside Europe,” notes a senior official in the White House.

Part of the explanation lies outside France. Britain is the only other European power with comparable military might, and it joined air strikes on Iraq 11 days after France. But it has become more reticent about foreign entanglements after the misadventure in Iraq and its casualties in Afghanistan. France today mixes a military capacity to project power over long distances with a political system that makes it simple for a president to send troops into battle and an enduring public appetite for such operations.

Another reason is a new political consensus in France about the need both to put troops on the line and to work with the Americans. To some observers’ surprise, the arrival of François Hollande, a Socialist, in 2012 led to continuity with his centre-right predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, rather than rupture. Mr Hollande’s party has long traded in anti-Americanism. It denounced Mr Sarkozy’s decision in 2009 to rejoin NATO’s military command, a choice that reversed decades-old Gaullist scepticism about the American-led security alliance.

Yet it was Hubert Védrine, a former Socialist foreign minister who coined the term “hyperpower” to disparage American unilateralism, who concluded in a report for Mr Hollande two years ago that France should stay in NATO’s military command. Laurent Fabius, the present foreign minister, and John Kerry, his (French-speaking) American counterpart, get on well. “In the security domain, French anti-Americanism has disappeared,” says Camille Grand, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, a think-tank.

This consensus has been forged chiefly by the triumph of hard-headed pragmatism over sentiment and ideology. The best example is counter-terrorism strategy in the African Sahel. For reasons of history, France has ex-colonial ties to a vast swathe of Africa which has today turned into a zone of instability, gun-running and jihadism, with particular concerns around the porous southern Libyan border. France also faces a growing radicalisation of its own citizens, two of whom were identified in a recent Islamic State video about the execution of an American aid worker, Peter Kassig. So France is both keenly aware of the direct terrorist threat and fortuitously placed to try to counter it.

Mr Hollande recently launched “Operation Barkhane”, a reorganisation of the 3,000-odd French troops that are stationed in the Sahel. The idea is to give France a more flexible and agile footprint in the region, which will make it easier both to react to terrorist threats and to disrupt terrorist networks there. In this, the French are again working closely with the Americans, who supply them with drones and intelligence as well as operating their own special forces. “There is no precedent in this zone for such intense Franco-American co-operation,” says a French official.

More at:

http://www.economist.com/news/europ...n-ally-security-policy-cheese-eating-warriors
 
Slightly misleading title to both the thread and the article.

“France has emerged as one of America’s most activist and steady European partners on security issues outside Europe,” notes a senior official in the White House.
is what the article says.
 
Another snippet:
France today mixes a military capacity to project power over long distances with a political system that makes it simple for a president to send troops into battle and an enduring public appetite for such operations.
Crack-on, François...
 
Let them have a go for once (not ment in a bad way), we've need to stop sticking or noses and troops in everyone elses mess and bringing the crap back home.
 
Last edited:

S0I

LE
As opposed to the UK and US, who have been in non-stop wars against near-peer enemies ever since 1945?


Well there was that war in Vietnam where Russian 'advisers' were using their very best missiles to shoot down Americas best planes.
You might also want to note how many US aircraft were shot down by the Russians since 1945.

And us? Well there was that little spat in 1982 between us and some Gauchos who were using gear as good or better than ours.
 
I think Mali provided an excellent stage on which to parade before the world.

A short, sharp mobile campaign with clearly delineated start/stop lines against the sharpened-mango wielders proved irresistible to a press bored with the slog of AFG.

Good for them but keep it in perspective.
 
Well there was that war in Vietnam where Russian 'advisers' were using their very best missiles to shoot down Americas best planes.
You might also want to note how many US aircraft were shot down by the Russians since 1945.

And us? Well there was that little spat in 1982 between us and some Gauchos who were using gear as good or better than ours.
So a few weeks in 1982 for us and Vietnam (where the French also had a war, if you're counting the Vietnamese as 'near peer' to a western army) for the Yanks. Korea for all three.

So aside from your ever hilarious and never tedious slagging off of the French, where are all these glorious victories by the US and UK over near peer enemies while the French were apparently skulking off fighting brown people who didn't shoot back?
 
Two crappy socialist presidents who throw servicemens lives into the grinder to bouy up their shitty domestic policies.

Yup i'd go with that.
 
Not read the entire thread ( and it is too late for me to even consider doing so) but I have no doubt whatsoever that France will actually emerge as France's greatest ally.

And good luck to them for it.

The French do what they think is best for them.

If we had Le Bolloux we would do the same. We don't.
 
So a few weeks in 1982 for us and Vietnam (where the French also had a war, if you're counting the Vietnamese as 'near peer' to a western army) for the Yanks. Korea for all three.

So aside from your ever hilarious and never tedious slagging off of the French, where are all these glorious victories by the US and UK over near peer enemies while the French were apparently skulking off fighting brown people who didn't shoot back?

The Vietnamese army was of course not "near peer" to a western army, neither during the Indochine war, nor the American war. And by the end of the latter war the NVA was pretty much f ucked. But what they did have was a massive popular movement which reached all parts of the country and an extremely innovative set of leaders.

The British though did win the war against insurgency in Malaysia, but I Wouldn't travel on Malaysian airways nowadays.

And the US {mod edit} up badly over Suez.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

S0I

LE
So a few weeks in 1982 for us and Vietnam (where the French also had a war, if you're counting the Vietnamese as 'near peer' to a western army) for the Yanks. Korea for all three.

So aside from your ever hilarious and never tedious slagging off of the French, where are all these glorious victories by the US and UK over near peer enemies while the French were apparently skulking off fighting brown people who didn't shoot back?


Well the French did lose against themselves a few times, Algerie Francaise and a few dozen assassination attempts etcetera
 
Well the French did lose against themselves a few times, Algerie Francaise and a few dozen assassination attempts etcetera

I didn't ask you that though, did I?

I'm not sure the British or Yanks can feel particularly superior to the French regarding attempted or successful assassination attempts on political figures either...
 

Latest Threads

Top