January 16, 2004

Franco-American Rapprochement Watch

Don Rumsfeld hosts his French counterpart at the Pentagon for consultations. And this:

"In Paris, there is widespread speculation that France might send troops to Iraq this year, most likely through NATO and under U.N. auspices, once a transitional government is in place in July, as is currently scheduled. The minister said France is open to NATO taking a role there."

Still:

"Alliot-Marie said France is not yet ready to consider reentering NATO's military command structure, from which it withdrew in 1966 in a gesture of independence. Analysts in Paris have speculated that France would renew those ties, which would bring it closer militarily to the United States, NATO's dominant member. "Right now, it's not our highest priority," she said."

And she trots out the "multipolar" theme and glosses over recent history in the Balkans too (the bit about the Europeans acting "independently" is quite rich):

"Our ambition has nothing to do with rivalry with the United States," Alliot-Marie said in her written answers [ed. note: The WaPo sent in queries to her]. "We want to do our part to keep the peace in our multipolar world, to assume the responsibility for Alliance operations or when NATO does not want to get involved."

She cited examples of Europeans acting independently in Bosnia, where the European Union is set to take over operations from NATO, and in Congo. She added: "Where in that is there a rivalry with the Alliance or the United States? I sincerely don't see one."

Meanwhile, looking for a venti non-fat thin latte (sans sultry waiter) s'il vous plait? But will they allow smoking inside?

Posted by Gregory at January 16, 2004 08:38 AM
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