France

Must Read

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

Must Read

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

Must Read

ICG Report: France and its Muslims: Riots, Jihadism and Depoliticisation

France faces a problem with its Muslim population, but it is not the problem it generally assumes.Paradoxically, it is the exhaustion of political Islamism, not its radicalisation, that explains much of the violence, and it is the depoliticisation of young Muslims, rather than their alleged reversion to a radical kind of communalism, that ought to be cause for worry. 

See more in France; Religion; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity

News Release

The Paris Attacks: Resources from CFR and Foreign Affairs

In the aftermath of the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, French authorities have conducted raids on suspected militants across France and launched airstrikes targeting the self-proclaimed Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Below, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Foreign Affairs offer resources on the Paris attacks.

See more in France; Terrorist Attacks

Op-Ed

Limiting the Veto in Cases of Mass Atrocities: Is the Proposed Code of Conduct Workable?

Author: Stewart M. Patrick

In Paris, Stewart Patrick analyzes prospects for a French proposal in which the UN Security Council would adopt a “responsibility not to veto” norm in situations of mass atrocities. Despite tremendous challenges in implementing such a code of conduct, he concludes that it is ultimately a goal worth pursuing.

See more in France; International Law; Humanitarian Intervention

Op-Ed

A Consequential Terror Attack in Paris

Author: Max Boot
Commentary

The U.S. has 9/11. Spain has 11-M (the March 11, 2004, bombings of the Madrid commuter trains which killed 191). Britain has 7/7 (a reference to the July 7, 2005 bombings which killed 52 people taking public transportation in London). And now, on a slightly smaller but still horrific scale, France has 1/7: the assault by three masked gunmen on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, which left 12 people dead.

See more in France; Terrorist Attacks

Op-Ed

Street Savvy

Author: Walter Russell Mead
National Interest Online

Walter Russell Mead argues that “a Sarkozy who overcomes the transport unions will take a decisive step toward the modernization of France.”

See more in France; Labor

Op-Ed

Sexy Cecilia of France Is Shown Up by Christine: Amity Shlaes

Author: Amity Shlaes
Bloomberg.com

News that Cecilia Sarkozy is divorcing her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, is all over the U.S. press. But there is another woman in the Sarkozy constellation who matters more than Cecilia. She is Christine Lagarde, the 51-year- old French finance minister.  At a recent meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations, Lagarde outlined her plan to cut marginal taxes on labor, lower the tax rate on investors by boosting research tax credits, lower the share of citizens' total income that can go to income taxes to 50 percent or less, and end a requirement that all patents be translated into French. Amity Shales writes that Lagarde is the one most likely to seduce investors away from the U.S. and to France.

See more in France