Can France count on allies to support itself against Washington?
Paris is attacking its allies near and far, but there is no indication that the country has many supporters.
French President Emmanuel Macron isn’t just angry with the United States these days after Washington foiled Paris over a multibillion-dollar underwater deal with Australia he believed secure.
Today, neighboring Switzerland also drew Macron’s ire after politicians in the country decided to procure the American F35-A Lightning II fighter jet in a deal that amounts to more than $ 6.5 billion – rejecting the French fighter jet alternative Rafale, among others.
For months behind the scenes, France lobbied intensively to win the candidacy, even offering Switzerland additional political support at the EU level. Now that it has served no purpose, Macron has canceled a meeting with his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin, apparently angry at the decision.
This decision follows the withdrawal of the ambassadors from Washington and Canberra by Paris.
British politician warned that France’s overreaction indicates that the West is in a “dangerous state of flux”, adding that there is an urgent need to “control the growing division”.
France, however, may have other ideas. The last salvo from Paris to bring its European Union counterparts to its side is for France to place its seat on the UN Security Council “at the disposal of the European Union”.
In turn, they should accept Macron’s plan for a European army – which has been widely fought by other countries in the bloc who fear it will erode America’s security presence on the continent.
The French political class has long sought to extricate its country and the continent at large from what it says is excessive military dependence on America. Such ambitions, however, have been called “confused, chimerical and reckless. “
While a European army remains a distant prospect in what is a slow-moving body, Macron likely senses an opportunity to take over on the continent as the EU’s most important leader for two decades, Germany’s Angela Merkel , is preparing to leave politics later this month.
In seeking to create a sharp distinction between the US and the EU, Macron used scathing language to describe Washington’s actions: “lies”, “duplicity” and “brutality”.
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, France remains the only member state to have a permanent seat in the United Nations body, giving the country an unusually high degree of international influence. . On the other hand, the EU has only observer status.
Speaking during a event organized by the Atlantic Council, Thierry Breton, a Frenchman and European trade commissioner, warned that “there is a growing feeling in Europe – and I say this with regret – that something is broken in our transatlantic relations”.
“Confidence is not earned,” Breton said in his speech. “And after the latest events, there is a strong perception that trust between the EU and the US has been eroded.”
For Macron, who in the past called NATO, the security alliance linking the European continent and the United States, “brain dead” seems more and more inclined to build a counter-alliance where France would have its to say and undoubtedly a more guaranteed market for its weapons. .
After more than four decades of absence, France, which only joined the NATO alliance in 2009, could leave if it wanted to further escalate its bitter feud with the United States. The idea, far from being far-fetched, go around some circles.
A French politician called for a NATO summit to ask the Americans if they “respect us” and “if the answer does not satisfy us, I wish to put on the table the question of France’s participation in the command. integrated NATO â.
Yet while EU officials have slowly and faithfully come out in support of Macron, European capitals have been more low-key. Eastern European countries in particular, but not exclusively, have remained largely silent on what some national politicians insist on compartmentalizing spat like a bilateral Franco-American issue.
In the alliance of networks, Paris appears more and more isolated and alone as it seeks to regain its stature.
Source: TRT World