Newsweek International reports on France’s success in using small combat units to partner with different international military alliances.
“A year into his first term, in fact, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is using his warm relations with Washington and his military’s strong record fighting in Africa and the Balkans to help re-establish France publicly and formally as a leading player in NATO, more than four decades after President Charles de Gaulle pulled out of the alliance’s integrated command and kicked its offices out of Paris. At the same time, he’s working to put France at the fore of a separate European Union defense force and extend its influence eastward to the Persian Gulf and South Asia. And if France really wants to project itself on the world stage this way, well, it couldn’t happen at a better time. U.S. forces are stretched thin, and there are only a handful of other armies with the training, the bases, the organization and, most important, the political will to kill and die in far corners of the planet to keep local wars from emerging into global threats. The shortlist includes the Brits-and the French, and that’s about it.”