Academic journal article McNair Papers

1. the Framework of French Defense and Security Policy

Academic journal article McNair Papers

1. the Framework of French Defense and Security Policy

Article excerpt

The classic Gaullist synthesis of French defense and security policy emphasized four priorities:

* French independence of action

* French nuclear deterrence to protect French territory and freedom of action

* French participation in the Atlantic Alliance but not within the integrated military command

* French military intervention and arms sales to promote French interests in the Middle East and Francophone Africa.

This synthesis rested in turn on several fundamental realities:

* The United States was committed to the deterrence of Soviet expansionism and saw permanent military presence within Western Europe as a means to do so.

* There was a Soviet Union over which the Communist Party leadership exercised control of an empire.

* Germany was divided between East and West.

French European policy focused upon reconciliation with Germany and building of a European Union of like-minded West European states. French Atlantic policy sought to influence the United States by pursuing an "independent" course within the Alliance. This meant case-by-case support or criticism of the United States. But the existence of the Soviet threat ensured that the United States would stay in Europe to counter that threat regardless of French diplomatic maneuvers or actions. …

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