France and NATO Reintegration

The folks over at Foreign Policy were kind enough to invite WPR managing editor Judah Grunstein to contribute a piece on France’s reintegration of NATO. Here’s a taste:

Sarkozy’s decision is part of a broader shift towardreaffirming France’s place in what he calls the “family of the West” — aproject he began upon taking office in May 2007. In concrete terms, that hasmeant a more vocal opposition to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a recommitment tothe NATO war effort in Afghanistan, and demonstrations of French solidaritywith U.S. objectives in Iraq.

All of those initiatives have generated charges of apro-American alignment. But with his NATO shift, Sarkozy has fractured a long-standingdomestic consensus over France’s national security posture. Summed up by formerForeign Minister Hubert Védrine as “friends, allies, non-aligned,” France’sstubborn insistence on its autonomy and liberty of position in matters ofnational security confounded U.S. expectations throughout the Cold War andaroused suspicion in its aftermath. But for the French, it has been a source ofnational pride, creating a self-image of occupying a unique place in the Westand the world. . . .

Read the rest here.