France Defies US on NATO
French defense minister Herve Morin signaled that his country will attempt to be a counterweight to the United States now that it rejoined the NATO military command. In addition to reiterating that France will not send more troops to Afghanistan, it will oppose a “global NATO” and insist on a Russian veto over further eastward expansion. These policies are all directly opposite the preferences of the United States under both the Bush and Obama administrations.
But, as I argue in my New Atlanticist piece, “France in Collision Course on NATO?” it’s more likely than not that France is right on at least the expansion issue.
Regardless, as Ken Weisbrode has pointed out, France never left NATO and has always been a powerful player. To the extent that having the Alliance’s fourth largest contributor even more integrated into the decision-making makes it harder to achieve consensus, it’s probably a good thing. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this year and will soon do the same for the end of the Cold War. It’s high time NATO figured out its new mission.
More at the link.
Photo: Reuters Pictures.