US helped France go nuclear to keep Europe divided, documents show

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by petergriffen, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. The government of the United States secretly helped France expand its nuclear arsenal, in order to promote its rivalry with Britain, according to newly declassified documents. The clandestine assistance to France, which tested its first nuclear bomb in Africa in 1960, began during the Richard Nixon administration, and was actively directed by Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s senior National Security Advisor.

    The documents, which were obtained by researchers at the George Washington University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, include a 1973 memorandum authored by Kissinger, in which he writes: “We want to keep Europe from developing their unity as a bloc against us. If we keep the French hoping they can get ahead of the British, this would accomplish our objective”. Toward that goal, the US ought to provide the French with information that will make them “drool but doesn’t give [them] anything but something to study for a while”. By doing so, Washington would be able to force Britain to stop “behaving shitty” and conform to American foreign policy objectives: “if they know we have another option, they might buck up”, writes Kissinger.

    Prior to Nixon’s ascendancy to the presidency, the United States had been actively opposed to France’s nuclear ambitions, because it feared that it would set off a dangerous nuclear arms race between West and East Germany. But Washington’s longstanding policy was abandoned by President Nixon who, under Kissinger’s advice, concluded that the US should exploit France’s nuclear arsenal to keep Europe politically and militarily divided.
    US helped France go nuclear to keep Europe divided, documents show |
  2. I like the "behaving shitty" line..
  3. Ah yes Kissinger and Nixon, the same pair of muppets who opened western markets up to China.

    What a result for our economies that has proved to be..........
  4. American foreign policy over the last 60 years makes ours look pretty good in hindsight. Ho wait. Eaden, Suez. Carrington, Falklands and blair, well pick a day.

    Like the use of"shitty" to.
  5. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Hurrah for the Special Relationship!

    As to Suez, Eisenhower did have the grace to say later that pulling the rug out from underneath us was the worst foreign policy mistake of his Presidency. It bigged up Nasser and with it all the evils of Arab nationalism that have come to pass.

    Blair's sycophancy though - yuk.
  6. Well, they are a nation built on treachery, so why the surprise?
    • Like Like x 2
  7. One good thing about an expanded French nuclear arsenal, it gave the Soviets another problem to ponder. With truly indenpendant, ie not subject to the Nato Nuclear Planning Group, nuclear weapons the Soviets had to consider not only which scenarios could lead to a brightening of the sky over Moscow by the Americans, but also which scenarios might get the French sufficiently pissed off that they launch the occasional bucket of sunshine. Still nice to know that the Americans were practising smiling knife politics, but then Nixon was a lawyer and a slightly bent one at that.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Thank goodness they did. Bigger picture. Now the French have the expertise to take our money for clearing up Dounreay. Re-cap ? Blair sneaked Soviet former weapons grade material to Dounreay for re-processing. But power to site failed and then backup power failed and Dounreay had to close to free up resources to treat all the extra nuclear leak induced leukemia in Scotland. But who knows how to clear up after a Blair cock-up (A big question I know) ... so call in the French.

    Happily the selfless promotion of French technological expertise, by USA, enabled us to reduce our own technical education resources and to concentrate investment on more important academia like Drama Studies, Women's studies, Sociology and the like.

    Brilliant. All that was then required was to expand public sector employment to absorb our quasi-educated masses into bureaucratic dummy activity.

    A chap who considered this sort of thing one of the most important potential strategic deciders
    of the Cold War was Airey Neave MP.

  10. Does this analysis exist anywhere else other than the site you have listed? Wordpress is a blog site so I can't really read it here at work.
  11. The actual documents cited are linked through here Ghost.

    New NPIHP Research Update
  12. "And they call me an assassin. What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin?" :p

  13. I read the link you provided and nowhere does anything show that the US helping France was intentional to "harming Britain", in fact, Britain was the first ally the US had given nuclear assistance to.

    Futhermore, in direct conflict to the rather as hominem title given this posting, and directly from the link you provided, describes the reason the decision was reversed by the Nixon administration:

    The rather lengthy article also goes on to discuss the lengths at which the French went to seek out US help and not the other way round.

    Did you read that article you gave me or just that tinfoil hat blog?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. I just ran past it on my internet travels.

    BTW on the Wilson center site it does specifically quote the line
    "“keep Europe from developing their unity as a bloc against us.”"

    Pg,4 Kissinger said it.
  15. Right so what have the Americans actually done wrong here? They helped the French get nuclear weapons (which they probably would have got hold sooner or later) which has yet to have any negative effects.
    The USA was and has only become more so, the powerhouse behind NATO and so didn't want the Europeans united in case they tried to drag them into another Suez and a potential shooting war with the Soviets fair enough they never forced us to join NATO.