Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
sasd209
Topic Author
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:32 am

France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:30 am

Yes I know title is a bit misleading as France has always been a member of the Atlantic Charter, but Mr. Sarkozy today announced that the French were returning NATO military command. As the son of a (legal) French immigrant to the US, I say Vive La France!

Discuss.

"French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his country is to return to Nato's military command, reversing four decades of self-imposed exile.

Mr Sarkozy confirmed the decision in a speech to defence experts at the Ecole Militaire staff college in Paris.
President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of Nato's integrated military command in 1966, saying it undermined France's sovereignty.
Critics say France will now be no more than "a clone of Great Britain".
But Mr Sarkozy said there was no sense in France - a founder member of Nato - having no say in the organisation's decisions on military strategy.
"This rapprochement with Nato ensures our national independence," said Mr Sarkozy. "To distance ourselves would limit our independence and our room for manoeuvre.
French troops in Afghanistan (archive image from 2006)
France has 3,000 troops in Afghanistan
He went on: "We have to be progressive. A solitary nation is a nation that has no influence whatsoever.
"We need strong diplomacy, a strong defence and a strong Europe." ".......

Source: BBC, full story:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7937666.stm

[Edited 2009-03-11 23:30:45]
 
bill142
Posts: 7867
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:11 am

Well, we all know what happens when you type in Google "French Military Victories" and hit I'm feeling lucky. So this is probably a good thing for France.
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4575
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:28 am

A very interesting development, now the French just have to learn English to work in the Nato command chain, they will not get many friends if they speak french at SHAPE or SACEUR  Wink

This will actually result in a lot of changes in the internal NATO commands, as the French will get a lot of seats everywhere, and some other countries will lose some important posts...
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 6023
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:01 pm

It's a good thing. And hopefully it will lead to a better integration of European forces.
 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9265
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:35 pm



Quoting SASD209 (Thread starter):
"French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced his country is to return to Nato's military command, reversing four decades of self-imposed exile.

I am old enough to remember the time when General Charles de Gaulle, the then President of France, drew the country out of NATO with no more SHAPE... and PX stores. The old General must be rolling back in his grave.

Sarkozy's decision probably also implies that France's nuclear command will be passed on to NATO.

No other French president before him - since de Gaulle's left power - had wished to re-integrate NATO not even President Mitterrand. It took Sarkozy to do it. The man is certainly weak by surrendering France's military prerogatives. I am not so sure that France going back into NATO is a good thing. A great part of the country's independance is lost, be it political and now also military.

I am curious to hear former Presidents Giscard d'Estaing and Chirac's comments on this matter.
 
User avatar
Francoflier
Posts: 6023
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:31 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
The man is certainly weak by surrendering France's military prerogatives.

Seeing how much you hate the man and constantly try to depreciate every last thing he does and say, I won't read too much into that. But the notion of being 'weak' means he must have given in to some outside pressure to do so. Who or what exactly pressured him to do this? Was he not always in favor of reintegrating NATO command?

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
A great part of the country's independance is lost, be it political and now also military.

When exactly has France been 'independent' when it comes to military action? Any major military conflict involving NATO would somehow involve France, and vice versa. French forces have been part of recent major NATO deployments anyway. It is absurd to think that we would make a difference by going at it alone rather than under the commandment of NATO, especially if France has a considerable amount of seats in said commandment.

The world has changed since Charles de Gaulle, and whether what he did back then was justified or not, the reasons for it aren't there anymore.
 
Stokes
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:09 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:33 pm

Madame, beg to differ. France's independent nuclear deterrent will remain independent, as does Britain's. Any possible enhanced coordination at the Nuclear Planning Group will not reduce the French national control of her nuclear weapons. And don't think there has not been plenty of "quiet" coordination between US, British, and French nuclear planners for a long time now. Ever wonder why even during the most heated transatlantic disputes, no American official has ever considered the force de frappe even the slightest worry ?

All in all, a good thing. With France in NATO's integrated military structure, we can leave behind 15 years of squabbling over the EU's common foreign and security policy and its potential to undermine/compete with/ complement NATO. It had devolved in to sterile theological debate.

With France fully in, we can begin to determine how the EU can use NATO assets to conduct operations in its neighborhood. Leverage the Euros to take on tasks the US and NATO proper have no direct concern in. France in NATO will do more for the EU's military capability than any competing organizational arrangements.
 
User avatar
N328KF
Posts: 6036
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 3:50 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:52 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
Sarkozy's decision probably also implies that France's nuclear command will be passed on to NATO.

Sarkozy stated that this only applies to conventional forces. Strategic nuclear forces will be kept under a French command structure.
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 6356
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:57 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
The man is certainly weak by surrendering France's military prerogatives. I am not so sure that France going back into NATO is a good thing.

Be assured that my "excitement" over France's rejoining of NATO is just as low as yours... though for complely different reasons.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:37 pm

France's participation in NATO probably won't impact it's independent strategic nuclear deterrent (same as the UK and the US), as NATO's control over nuclear weapons usually meant the tactical nukes (bombs, artillery rounds, medium and short range missiles/rockets).

Rejoining the unified command structure is a good thing as long as they aren't making demands that aren't merited based on their committment.

While the "french military history" is funny, it's usually the political leadership of the French armies that fail them, not their soldiers. Having spent time with them in the past I can vouch for their ability and efficiency (at least of their airborne units). Not quite British-caliber but still pretty good.

The question will become one of will......will the French politicians avoid meddling and screwing the thing up? will the French public demand withdrawal when it gets bloody? will the rest of NATO put up with any silly histrionics?

France has always been part of NATO, albeit refusing to accept to be under the command of foreigners at all (even US troops serve under foreign commanders when serving in NATO) and they were always an important part of planning for NATO's original purpose...to be the bulwark against the USSR.
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:20 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
The man is certainly weak by surrendering France's military prerogatives. I am not so sure that France going back into NATO is a good thing. A great part of the country's independance is lost, be it political and now also military.

-
> "surrendering France's military prerogatives" clearly is highly exaggerated
> to re-join NATO in full is not a sign of weakness
> the step is a good thing as it will strengthen the weight of Europe in NATO
> not much of the independence goes lost
 
GDB
Posts: 14493
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:14 pm

I too think this whole idea of that France will somehow not only lose command of it's strategic forces, but as some French politicians have said, see France dragged into conflicts they do not want to be, as nonsense. (They seem unable to explain how other full NATO members were not in Iraq-the example they gave).

Leaving NATO's command structure in 1966 did not make France in security matters more independent, if anything, it lessened their influence.

It's only right they are back.
 
User avatar
LTU932
Posts: 13725
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:34 pm

I thought that France re-joining NATO as full member was not final, especially since there are politicians who may well object to it, all mostly for pointless nationalistic reasons (along with perhaps some anti-US sentiment as well).

In any case: About damn time that France stops having this "special" status in NATO and becomes a full member once again, with all privileges and duties this move implies. It's good to see that Sarko has finally made a right decision.
 
sasd209
Topic Author
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:32 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:35 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 12):
I thought that France re-joining NATO as full member was not final, especially since there are politicians who may well object to it, all mostly for pointless nationalistic reasons (along with perhaps some anti-US sentiment as well).

I do believe that this issue will be debated before it is final; I also personally believe that the French will see this as something that can only be in their best interests and it will be approved.

The choice to target and use the French (nuclear) deterrent force will remain in the control of France and will not be subject to NATO veto or approval. I see no problem with this; I personally believe that the French have co-ordinated their strategic forces with NATO for a while now, so there is really no change here, IMO.

Vive La France!

[Edited 2009-03-12 22:41:46]
 
WunalaYann
Posts: 2128
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:55 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:48 am



Quoting Francoflier (Reply 3):
It's a good thing. And hopefully it will lead to a better integration of European forces.

 checkmark  Ainsi soit il.

Quoting GDB (Reply 11):
Leaving NATO's command structure in 1966 did not make France in security matters more independent, if anything, it lessened their influence.

I agree.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
The man is certainly weak by surrendering France's military prerogatives. I am not so sure that France going back into NATO is a good thing. A great part of the country's independance is lost, be it political and now also military.

You mean, France's brave decision to single-handedly take military action in the ex-Yugoslavia conflict? Or to topple Khadafi after the bombing of UTA's plane over Chad?

Sure.

Since 1966, we have done jack squat all, besides launching anti-US propaganda every time they decided (rightly or not) to take matters in their own hands. We have mostly been a voice of dissent that never proposed anything other than to support corrupt regimes everywhere (Mitterrand's reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall being a prime example) and pretending to defend even more corrupt remnants of colonial power (see pretty much all of Francophone Africa).

It would be interesting to see how much taxpayer's money has been wasted in this quest for chivalrous, lance et oriflamme independence, and how much it has returned. You'd probably need a warehouse for the former and a microscope for the latter.

Quoting Francoflier (Reply 5):
The world has changed since Charles de Gaulle, and whether what he did back then was justified or not, the reasons for it aren't there anymore.

I could not have said it better.

Quoting SASD209 (Reply 13):
I see no problem with this; I personally believe that the French have co-ordinated their strategic forces with NATO for a while now, so there is really no change here, IMO.

Exactly. And for good reason - when a country has neither the motives nor the means to carry out a policy, perhaps the time has come to ditch it in favour of common sense.

 Smile
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:28 pm



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 14):
to defend even more corrupt remnants of colonial power (see pretty much all of Francophone Africa).

-
But THIS is not really subject to change. Britain, well inside NATO, in many cases did similar things single-handedly as well.

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 14):
how much taxpayer's money has been wasted in this quest for chivalrous, lance et oriflamme independence, and how much it has returned. You'd probably need a warehouse for the former and a microscope for the latter.

-
And THIS is now to be continued INSIDE NATO.

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 14):
The world has changed since Charles de Gaulle, and whether what he did back then was justified or not, the reasons for it aren't there anymore.
-
I could not have said it better.

-
As the "5th Republic" due to the stature of CDG has for decades been a "Gaullist Republic" none of the other presidents in between dared to change "basics" placed down by the Big General. Interesting is to think about what the General HIMSELF would have done in the meantime. Possibly exactly what Mr Sarkozy is doing now ? Who knows ...........
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9316
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:33 pm

IMO - NATO is an irrelevant force until proven otherwise.
 
User avatar
GrahamHill
Posts: 3021
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:35 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:23 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 4):
No other French president before him - since de Gaulle's left power - had wished to re-integrate NATO not even President Mitterrand

You're wrong here. Mitterrand discussed the possibility with Bush after the collapse of USSR and Chirac tried to put France back in NATO in 1995.

This has been attempted before Sarkozy, but for various reasons it failed. With Chirac, we wanted the Naples commandment and the Americans did not want because it was way too strategic. After two years of negotiations, the French government gave up.

I'm pretty happy to join back NATO. First because we will at least pay for a good reason. Don't forget that France is the 5th money provider and the 4th manpower provider of NATO. Why would we like to pay and provide men if in return we have no power in strategic decisions?

As Francoflier said, the world has changed since De Gaulle. In 1966, there was Cold War and two ideologies were dominating the world. De Gaulle did not want to be part of either politics because he thought that France could represent a third option. And the nuclear weapon was a guarantee we could ensure our defense alone.

Now the threat is different and is more difficult to identify and localise. We need combined resources to do comprehend it.

And anyway, since its creation, we've always been participating in NATO's military operations. So let's stop the hypocrisy!
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:27 pm



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 16):
IMO - NATO is an irrelevant force until proven otherwise.

-
This is wrong. The major relevancy of course is political, as NATO provides additional stability to critical regions and gives some security to some members who might feel threatened by Russia. It for certain members also is relevant as NATO makes purchasing Western weaponry easier for them.
 
GDB
Posts: 14493
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:10 pm

DFWClipper, those fighting out in Afghanistan might disagree.

Yes I know of the difficulties and controversies around that - I made my own views on it here clearly enough, but without NATO it is doubtful that ANY of the nations helping the US - including those in active heavy combat like the UK, Canada and others, would be there.

Also, no NATO would probably mean some or all the bases vital for the US could be denied to them - as has happened in one non NATO nation recently.
It's also rather mean on the former East Bloc nations, who with good reason joined NATO as soon as they could, considering (whether you accept it or not), they blame in some part the US in 1945 for allowing Stalin to stay.

It could also affect facilities like the US NSA listening posts, including those co-located/leased on British overseas territories.
If the US abandoned it's commitment to NATO, why should they still enjoy the benefits they got from it?

NATO's 'problem', is that the nations in it are democratic ones, who cannot and indeed should not, be ordered around as the Warsaw Pact was.
This means decision making can sometimes be slow, disagreements all too apparent, stuff happens we don't like or agree with, but hey, the point of NATO was to and is, defending that right.
(Anyway, palling up with the opposite sort of governments usually ends in tears, Iran in 1979 being one example, potentially one day, Egypt too).

The economic and security interests of the USA are intertwined with (even the Neo Cons thought this), there being as many democratic nations in the world as possible.
If there is one lesson that should be (and I think has been, even before the change in US Administrations), learned after the last few years, is that the more and firmer Allies the US has, the better.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 11052
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:36 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 19):
Also, no NATO would probably mean some or all the bases vital for the US could be denied to them - as has happened in one non NATO nation recently.
It's also rather mean on the former East Bloc nations, who with good reason joined NATO as soon as they could, considering (whether you accept it or not), they blame in some part the US in 1945 for allowing Stalin to stay.

It could also affect facilities like the US NSA listening posts, including those co-located/leased on British overseas territories.
If the US abandoned it's commitment to NATO, why should they still enjoy the benefits they got from it?

If the US abandoned NATO you can rest assured that the current trading situation would slowly begin to change, they would have no need for European bases if they state their intention to diminish the value of Western Europe which is what an abandonment of NATO would mean.

On the French joining NATO, I have never understood the French great desire to get all and sundry into the EU for economic and political gain, buty somehowe they see their military and NATO as being different, for me it was a case of different strokes for different folks.
 
GDB
Posts: 14493
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:56 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 20):
buty somehowe they see their military and NATO as being different, for me it was a case of different strokes for different folks.


I reckon it was, back in 1966, more about CDG not wanting to be a part of anything that France would not be the leading member of.
What the French military command thought about it was another matter I suspect.
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:33 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 21):
about CDG not wanting to be a part of anything that France would not be the leading member of.

-
There also was a personal side to the matter. While CDG due to the friendship of the London war years with Dwight Eisenhower was in an excellent relationship with the other general, and also had a good one with Mr and Mrs Kennedy, his relationship with Lyndon Baines Johnson was rather tense, to put it mildly.
-
The second aspect was that CDG and LBJ clashed in regard to the basic concept which for LBJ clearly was guarding against the East (USSR) while CDG believed in the "défense à tous azimuts" (defence in all directions). The German Chancellors Ludwig Erhard and Kurt Georg Kiesinger clearly saw it with LBJ, and the same is the case with Sir Alex Douglas Home and Harold Wilson. So that to bow out of NATO was THE thing to do for CDG.
 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9265
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:07 pm

 
GDB
Posts: 14493
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:23 am

ME AVN FAN, well that's if anything even worse, CDG flunking out because he had a view on defence that was almost total fantasy.
I reckon he used this 'view' of his, (did he really think it?), as an excuse.
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: France (re) Joins Nato

Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:28 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 24):
CDG flunking out because he had a view on defence that was almost total fantasy.



Quoting GDB (Reply 24):

not only is it the basic strategy of Switzerland (among others) since about 1985, HIS view on defence was not "total fantasy" but based on a strategy now almost general wisdom. HIS views are now basics to most European NATO partners as well as Finland, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland. No, I think you are wrong and CDG was right, except that he was a bit ahead of his time, while you are 20 years behind your time.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: B747forever, downforsam, leader1, luckyone, NIKV69, notaxonrotax, SEAorPWM, skyservice_330 and 29 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos