• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

It would be dangerous for France to reintegrate in NATO

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
187
Points
710
I stumbled across this via Spotlight on Military News.

I found a couple of the comments by Dominique de Villepin, Poet, Past Prime Minister of France and Defender of Saddam, fascinating.

First Quote : "Not only is the return of France into NATO ('s integrated command structure, it doesn't correspond to the interests of France, but as well I believe that it is dangerous."

Second Quote : "it results in the risk of being reduced (emphasis added) to the Western Family (of nations presumably)."

Third Quote : "We would lose the room to manoeuvre, the margins of independence" and "the opportunity to act unilaterally (emphasis added) without being dragooned into a group".


So M. Villepin sees his France as not being of the West but a Free Agent that is willing to act unilaterally in its own best interests.  An interesting point of view from a country that is nuclear armed, has a military force capable of foreign adventures and has a recent history of occupation and foreign intervention.

Not that I think that that is necessarily a bad thing.  Nor do I fault l'honourable Monsieur for being a two faced advocate for his national interests while accusing the US, acting in concert with over 40 other nations of acting unilaterally.  However I am ecstatic to discover the rules of the game as interpreted by the Coterie Chirac.



Monde / Europe
The Associated Press - 04/06/08 à PM - 247 mots

Monde
Le retour de la France dans l'OTAN serait "dangereux" selon Dominique de Villepin
"Non seulement le retour de la France dans l'OTAN n'est pas utile, ne correspond pas aux intérêts de la France, mais je crois aussi que c'est dangereux", a déclaré dimanche l'ancien Premier ministre Dominique de Villepin sur Canal+.

Le retour de la France dans le commandement intégré de l'Alliance, envisagé par Nicolas Sarkozy, c'est "prendre le risque d'être réduit à la famille occidentale", a-t-il estimé. "Nous perdrions des marges de manoeuvre, des marges d'indépendance" et "une possibilité d'agir seul, sans être embrigadé dans un ensemble".

"Je crains la logique de bloc à bloc" et "je ne crois donc pas utile de rentrer à nouveau dans l'OTAN de façon pleine et entière", a-t-il dit.

Interrogé sur l'envoi de troupes françaises supplémentaires en Afghanistan, Dominique de Villepin a souligné la nécessité d'avoir une "stratégie politique" dans ce pays et ce "dans la durée". "Cette stratégie politique, elle manque cruellement en Afghanistan", a-t-il déploré.

"Maintenir et augmenter ses troupes -de façon d'ailleurs fort limitée- ce n'est pas à mon sens la meilleure façon de sortir l'Afghanistan de la situation difficile dans laquelle il est. Et le risque d'enlisement est par contre extrêmement important", a-t-il estimé. "Ne nous engageons pas dans des aventures militaires qui sont dépourvues de véritables stratégies globales". AP

co/sb
 

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
59
Points
530
I wonder if it would be possible to rent the Foreign Legion as France is a free agent ? :)
 
A

acheo

Guest
"Maintenir et augmenter ses troupes -de façon d'ailleurs fort limitée- ce n'est pas à mon sens la meilleure façon de sortir l'Afghanistan de la situation difficile dans laquelle il est. Et le risque d'enlisement est par contre extrêmement important", a-t-il estimé. "Ne nous engageons pas dans des aventures militaires qui sont dépourvues de véritables stratégies globales".

He's got a point!



 

Blackadder1916

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
240
Points
830
Kirkhill said:
Second Quote : "it results in the risk of being reduced (emphasis added) to the Western Family (of nations presumably)."

Third Quote : "We would lose the room to manoeuvre, the margins of independence" and "the opportunity to act unilaterally (emphasis added) without being dragooned into a group".

So M. Villepin sees his France as not being of the West but a Free Agent that is willing to act unilaterally in its own best interests.  An interesting point of view from a country that is nuclear armed, has a military force capable of foreign adventures and has a recent history of occupation and foreign intervention.

What the pompous and effete M. de Villepin has to say is of only mild interest, but your translation is an example of the difficulty encountered when trying to determine the intent (and nuance) of another's words when relayed through an interpreter.  "Unilateral" has acquired a somewhat negative connotation; a sense that one will do whatever they please without consideration of (and regardless of the consequences to) others.  How much different would the tone of his comments be if "act alone" or "act independently" or "act separately" or "follow our own course" were the translation.

This following article (while only mentioning de Villepin briefly) may provide a better explanation (to English speakers) of the opposition (primarily by France's left-wing but also by some of the old Gaullists) to proposals to re-intergrate into NATO military command.

Sarkozy's military plans 'put independence at risk'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/sarkozys-military-plans-put-independence-at-risk-806328.html
France's left-wing opposition has accused President Nicolas Sarkozy of placing French "independence" at risk by seeking to rejoin Nato's integrated military command and by promising to send extra troops to Afghanistan.

Socialist, Communist and Green members of the national assembly combined to force the first vote of "censure" or "no confidence" of M. Sarkozy's presidency. Although the vote had no chance of succeeding, left-wing leaders said it was important to draw attention to a "dangerous turning point" in French foreign and defence policy.

The Socialist Party's first secretary, François Hollande, leading the charge in a two-hour debate, said the "whole of Europe will find itself aligned with the United States" if France "abandoned its right to make autonomous decisions".

He added: "This turning towards Nato is not only against [France's] interests but operates against the stability of the world."

President Sarkozy has said that he will take a decision at the end of this year on whether France should rejoin the integrated military command of Nato.

Although France has always been a member of the Atlantic alliance, President Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from the military structure in 1966, complaining of American domination.

A few traditionalist Gaullist members of M. Sarkozy's centre-right party, including the former prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, have attacked the President's decision to consider placing the French military under Nato command. However, they were not expected to vote with the opposition and the censure vote last night was merely a formality.

M. Hollande also criticised President Sarkozy's decision to send more French troops – believed to be about 800 – to help the Nato coalition against the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said that France risked being caught up in a "floundering" mission with no exit strategy.

In response, the Prime Minister, François Fillon, mocked the "gut anti-Americanism" and short memories of the French left. It was a Socialist prime minister, Lionel Jospin, he pointed out, who first committed French troops to Afghanistan in 2001.

Were the left now ready to tell the Afghan people that France was pulling out once the going became tough?

M. Fillon said that France would remain what it had always been, "an ally of Washington but not its vassal... supportive, but not subordinate".
 

geo

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
0
Points
0
De Villepin, Chirac, DeGaule and their type want France to be masters of their own universe (of one)... however, they were instrumental in pushing for the European Union.... anyone see a contradiction here?  So long as it suits them, yea - the minute it doesn't go their way - nay...

IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
187
Points
710
Exactement Geo. Y a le monde ce qu'on a et puis le monde ce qu'on veut.  Peut etre il faut dire a M. Villepin que le Soleil etait mouri des siecles auparavant.

And Blackadder, if offer you this:

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet (or stink just the same)
Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)

The rose and the ability to act independently both exist regardless of how they are perceived.



"act alone", "act independantly", "act separately" or "follow our own course" do indeed express the same ability as "act unilaterally".  And as you note " "Unilateral" has acquired a somewhat negative connotation".  Especially when it is applied to the US and in particular President Bush's admininstration.  In that connotation it has indeed come to represent "a sense that one will do whatever they please without consideration of (and regardless of the consequences to) others."

I would suggest that that also fairly could be representative of French foreign policy under M. Villepin, M. Chirac, M. Giscard and M. de Gaulle.  They have been so determined to make up for their poor showing these past 176 years that they don't have the self-confidence to enter into an alliance of equals.

How much different in deed would  be the tone of his comments if the translation were different.  However while the perception may be different, I doubt that the sense would vary at all.




 

Blackadder1916

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
240
Points
830
Kirkhill said:
"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet (or stink just the same)
Romeo and Juliet (2.2.45-7)

Mais M. de Villepin a dit "d'agir seul (act alone)" et non pas "d'agir unilatéralement (act unilaterally)".  As easy as it is to fault Frenchmen of De Villepin's ilk for their view that Paris is the centre of the world, it is not necessary to put words of a different stink in their mouths to highlight that fault.  They seem to accomplish that quite well of their own accord.

As I stated before a speaker's intent and nuance can be lost when the interpreter adds his own spin to the exchange.  It reminds me of two episodes in Rwanda.  Once, after a RPA officer had spoken (ranted) with much hand gesturing at me for about five minutes the interpreter told me "he said he didn't know".  And then there was the comic opera of a patient (who spoke only Kinyarwandan) talking to an interpreter (Kinyarwandan/French) talking to me (English/sort of French/less than sort of German) talking to a nurse (German/sort of English) talking to a doctor (German).  I'm surprised anyone got anything out of that exchange.
 

Greymatters

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
0
More politics and rhetoric... many statements are made merely to appear to be in opposition to what some other leading figure has said... in the end, usually nothing worth getting worked up about...

 
Top