France

Interview

Kupchan: Mood of U.S. Ties with France, Germany Improve with ‘Slim Pickings’ on Substance

Charles A. Kupchan interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Charles A. Kupchan, CFR’s top Europe expert, sees major improvements in the mood of U.S.-Europe relations, but, he cautions,  there are only “slim pickings” to show on policy issues like Iran and Afghanistan.

See more in Germany; History and Theory of International Relations; France; Diplomacy and Statecraft; United States

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London Review of Books: In Search of Monsters

Author: Stephen Smith

"Jihadists were already finding it hard to operate in North Africa before the Arab Spring of 2011. Since then their problems have become almost insurmountable: they thrive only in countries where Islamists are in prison, not where they are in the ascendant or contesting elections. As for Europe, the last attacks instigated by al-Qaida date back to Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005. Jihadism looks less like a rising phenomenon in the north of Mali than a force in retreat. The French intervention may well give them purpose and greater coherence."

See more in France; Havens for Terrorism; Mali

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FP: Couples Retreat

Author: Mira Kamdar

Mira Kamdar, a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an award-winning author, analyzes the rocky relationship between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

See more in EU; Financial Crises; Germany; France

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Guardian: NATO Needs a Makeover

Author: Benoit D'Aboville

As France returns to NATO's integrated military structure, it's time for the alliance to undergo a long-delayed transformation, Benoi D'Aboville says.

See more in NATO; France

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SWP: Could France Bring NATO and the EU Closer Together?

Author: Ronja Kempin

The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has pushed for his country to rejoin NATO's integrated military command in the hopes that it would help establish a capable European Security and Defense Policy. Ronja Kempin writes that this would only be possible if the French were to use their EU Presidency to link NATO and the EU by creating an operational civil-military EU planning and conduct capability closely linked to NATO's capacities.

See more in NATO; EU; France

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Newsweek: The French Revolution

Author: Christopher Dickey

Paris Bureau Chief Christopher Dickey reports on the success of small and highly professional French combat units that have coordinated with military forces from different countries in varying alliances-the kind of fighting Western armies are called on to do more and more. The French do it well and it is key to their growing-perhaps pivotal-role in NATO that has changed dramatically since the end of the cold war.

See more in France; NATO

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Washington Institute: Prized Fighter: How Nicolas Sarkozy Could Help Destroy Hezbollah

Authors: Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson

Report from the Washington Institute that considers the possibility that the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France may usher in a less accommodative EU policy towards Hezbollah. The report says that Sarkozy appears to see Hezbollah in a different light than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. In a September 2006 closed-door session with Jewish leaders in the United States, for example, Sarkozy reportedly referred to Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization"—a sentiment unlikely to be stated by Chirac. During last summer's war between Hezbollah and Israel, Sarkozy defendedIsrael's right to defend itself against an organization he described as the "one aggressor" in the conflict. He also stated that France should have committed troops to Lebanon more quickly during the war.

See more in Wars and Warfare; Israel; France

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GMF: The Weimar Triangle–Improvements in the German-Polish Relationship

Author: Jörg Himmelreich

This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States looks at the troubled tripartite relationship between Poland, France and Germany. The paper says this unstable relationship – the so-called ‘Weimar Triangle’ – has made it difficult to coordinate relations between the three countries, but notes that recent meetings have seen leaders of the three countries put contentious issues aside and concentrate on finding solutions to outstanding problems.

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Germany; France; Poland