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President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron meet during a G-7 summit President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting at the G-7 summit in Carbis Bay, England, June 12, 2021 (AP photo by Patrick Semansky).

Europe Must Pick Up the Pace of Its Adjustment to the ‘Pacific Century’

Friday, Sept. 24, 2021

As evidenced by the wall-to-wall coverage this week in this publication and countless others, French President Emmanuel Macron’s recall of France’s ambassadors from Washington and Canberra over the trilateral security pact between the U.S., Australia and the U.K. has naturally raised anew worries about the stability of the trans-Atlantic partnership and the cohesiveness of NATO. U.S. President Joe Biden’s hard pivot to the Indo-Pacific is clearly giving France specifically, and the EU and the world more generally, a bad case of whiplash. 

But perhaps overshadowed by Paris’ fit of pique over Australia’s cancellation of its multibillion-dollar deal with France to build attack-class submarines in favor of a sweeter deal with the U.S. and U.K. is the fact that the announcement of the new security partnership is as seismic in its proportions as was the American exit from Afghanistan. The new compact, known as AUKUS, sends an ear-shattering signal to Beijing, Paris and other European capitals that the new consensus in Washington centers on maintaining American technological prowess from tooth to tail—political costs be damned. ...

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