Security & Defense

France & NATO – pt.2

[Click here to read pt.1]

A Divergent Approach to the Alliance

France reintegration into the NATO Integrated Military Structures in 2009 did not come as a total surprise as France had been moving closer to the IMSs for decades. François Mitterrand, followed by former Jacques Chirac, had previously attempted to fully reintegrate NATO, without success as the circumstances did not seem right at the time. The reintegration, announced by Nicolas Sarkozy

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy announces in Paris that France would rejoin NATO's integrated military command on March 11, 2009

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy announces in Paris that France would rejoin NATO’s integrated military command on March 11, 2009, more than 40 years after his predecessor Charles de Gaulle pulled out of the alliance’s inner circle. (Photo: AFP PHOTO POOL / Philippe Wojazer)

therefore did not mark a break in French relations with the Alliance, it only acted as a natural result to the process in place. However, the reintegration did not mean that France would submit itself to all of NATO’s demands, and what Paris had established as his exceptions would remain. These include: “(1) France’s nuclear weapons would remain under national control; (2) France would maintain control over the deployment of French troops in any military operations; (3) France would not put its troops under NATO control in peacetime”. Beyond those three elements that were excluded from the negotiations all along the “creeping reintegration” Continue reading

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