France Is No Longer NATO Partner

Americans are really unhappy about Germany’s and France’s refusal to approve the Iraq campaign

The Pentagon struck France out form the list of USA’s allies. The closer the war in Iraq is, the less patient the White House gets. American officials keep expressing their indignation about the stand of their NATO allies – Germany and France, first and foremost. This indignation is set out more and more often. Diplomatic decencies are not observed anymore – they do not pay any attention to them. The squabble between Washington on one part and Paris and Berlin on the other part get rougher and rougher.

As UPI news agency reported, Richard Perle, an adviser to the Pentagon, released a very scandalous statement during his speech at a press briefing in New York. This statement will make the relations between the USA and France get even worse. Richard Perle claimed that France was no longer an ally of the United States and NATO. Now the alliance will have to elaborate a strategy to restrain the former ally, as if the alliance is going to fall apart over to the French negative attitude regarding Iraq.

Germany’s position regarding the USA’s intentions about Iraq does not differ a lot from the one that France has. However, Perle only said that Germany's refusal to back the military operation in Iraq is nothing but a mistake, which was made by the discredited German chancellor. The French stand seems much more important to America, for French President Jacques Chirac is allegedly certain deep in his heart that Saddam Hussein is a lot better than any of his successors. Perle claimed that France wants to diminish the USA’s role in the world with its position to denounce any military action that is not approved with a special resolution from the United Nations.

As a matter of fact, Richard Perle should have some experience of a psychoanalyst, not a Pentagon advisor, since he knows so much about the French president's heart. Being serious, Perle formulated the idea, which has been wandering in the minds of the White House officials for long. If an international organization becomes an obstacle on the USA’s way to implement its plans, America will simply stop paying attention to it. To put it short, the United States will ignore it, even if this international organization is NATO.

It is not hard to understand the indignation of the White House. The alliance makes decisions on the joint basis, with the participation of its every member. If two countries (such respectable countries as France and Germany) say no to the war in Iraq, NATO will not be able to send its soldiers to the Persian Gulf. However, it seems that other members’ opinion is not really relevant for the USA and Great Britain. Washington’s attempts to make Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder support the war in Iraq were over with nothing. On the other hand, all other NATO members expressed their intention to back the military operation in Iraq.  It is Paris and Berlin that undermine the picture of freedom-loving people’s unity against  malicious Saddam.

This way or other, but the Iraqi issue has become a big test for NATO. Time  will show, what will happen to the alliance after this test ends. Most likely, the USA will manage to show it to everyone that alliance is nothing without the American support. The United States is likely to prove that it is too much for a NATO country member to have an opinion that differs from the one of Washington.

Oleg Artyukov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

Author`s name Olga Savka