7D - Under the direction of French president Charles de...

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Under the direction of French president Charles de Gaul, France withdrew all it’s forces and most of its involvement within NATO by 1966. France felt an unbalance of power between France, Great Britain, and the United States and felt that it did not need to rely on the United States for European security. France pursued an independent security policy. Reintegration After four decades, President Sarkozy decided to reintroduce France into NATO’s integrated command. Though France had not been an official member of NATO since the 60’s, the integration actually began in the 90’s following the end of the Cold War, which brought new security threats such as the conflict within Yugoslavia. It soon became clear that France could not sustain European Security through an independent approach, which was apparent through the Bosnia crisis. President Mitterrand approved combined operations between French and NATO forces, along with participating in selected NATO defense meetings. French leaders concluded that overcoming European security challenges required more cooperation with the United States and NATO. In 1996, President Chirac attempted and failed at reintegrating France back into NATO, but regardless, their involvement continued to grow. By the end of Chirac’s term, France could be considered a de facto member of NATO from a military, strategic and operational perspective. The enlargement of NATO and the EU, helped France reevaluate its relationship with the Alliance. Sarkozy’s decision to reintegrate France was part of a wider effort to update and improve French defense and security policy and building a stronger ESDP. In Sarkozy’s eyes, ESDP and NATO reintegration are closely linked. France cannot achieve it’s foreign policy goals in Europe without cooperation with NATO and the United States. Frances return removes an important source of transatlantic discord and tension and should make cooperation between NATO and the EU easier. Today, France is the largest contributor to the NATO Response Force, and participates in all major Alliance expeditionary operations including Afghanistan. Conditions and limits of Frances reintegration with NATO: France will maintain control over the sending of French troops in all military operations It will not put its troops under NATO control during peacetime France’s nuclear weapons will remain under national control Opposition: Sarkozy’s plan for NATO reintegration provoked strong opposition from the Socialists because they feared it would weaken France’s commitment to European defense. Even his own party attacked him on grounds that it was a one-sided concession for which France has received nothing in return. In general, the French people are indifferent to their decision.
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2010 for the course IR 365 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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7D - Under the direction of French president Charles de...

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