“It remains unhelpful that France so often resorts to a knee-jerk anti-American stance in its foreign policy. Its dispute with America over how to deal with Iraq may have been genuine; and it is understandable that the French, having opposed the start of the war, do not see it as their job to help finish it. Yet France gains nothing from further fighting and greater instability in that country. Even if the French government sticks to its insistence on never, in any circumstances, sending troops there, it could be more supportive—for instance, by offering to relieve American and British forces elsewhere in the world. It would help France to climb down from its own strident position on Iraq if the Americans toned down their own strident anti-French rhetoric. But the effort should be two-sided: the French should drop their anti-American rhetoric too.”
Whether the French can really relieve American and British forces in other theaters is an open question, as John Hillen has pointed out. Still, it’s nice to see The Economist take a cold, hard look at French geopolitics.