France presses for independence from US

kayak3 kayak3 at
Mon Nov 8 07:44:44 PST 1999

Seth Ackerman wrote:
> Doug wrote:
> > [Is there anything to this, or is it just posturing?]
> >
> > New York Times - November 7, 1999
> >
> > By Craig R. Whitney
> >
> I think there's something to it, but the Europeans often suffer from
> failures of nerve. In Kosovo, they genuinely wanted to keep the US from
> taking over the show, but they were hampered by their lack of military
> muscle. The Americans gave them a choice: either do it our way or you don't
> get to use our satellites and aircraft in the event things get messy in
> Kosovo.
> Kosovo marked a turning point. Thus, if anything the Euros are much
> more serious this time. They were appalled at how the US handled the war --
> the brazen use of force as first resort, the Chinese embassy bombing, etc.
> They were mortified that they could do nothing to resist US pressure. The
> war has helped formulate a remarkable left-right European consensus that the
> Continent needs its own credible military force. Everyone recognizes that if
> they'd had that last year, they wouldn't have had to hand Kosovo over to the
> U.S.
> Major recent events in this story include the French-German defense
> merger, Chirac's call for an EU Security Council, and the Senate's rejection
> of the Test-Ban Treaty. The British have taken the eyebrow-raising step of
> distancing themselves from the US-UK policy on Iraq. The French have stepped
> up their criticism of US behavior. Another major front is the fight over
> policy towards Yugoslavia: US wants to keep Serbia isolated and impoverished
> while Europe wants to lift the sanctions.
> But it's hard to see how Europe will be able to throw its weight
> around without more guns and tanks.
> Seth

Maybe in the context of a military operation but what's keeping Europe from putting together a unified front to opose sanctions on the Serbs? I doubt that they fear US retaliation. I have a hard time believing that the US is going to risk NATO unity in order to get our way.

Brad Hatch

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