Sarkozy says no to more troops for Afghanistan

Visiting this subject somewhat later than one would have wished, but better late than never.  It would have been delightful being a fly on the wall in NATO headquarters on Monday after Nicolas Sarkozy told French television he would not send a single extra combat soldier to Afghanistan.  It is only nine months since France rejoined NATO as a full member, but under this modern day Napoleon, the French are already upsetting the apple cart.  What is it with power crazed, short arsed Frenchmen?

Just weeks ago it became clear that with a classic Gallic shrug, France had done a deal to sell a Mistral class amphibious warship along with advanced military technology to Russia, although the European media corps has pointedly ignored it.  Now with NATO imploring its members to support the military effort in Afghanistan, Sarkozy grandstands for the French media and delivers a resounding ‘Non’ to the alliance.

It seems that under Sarkozy, France’s idea of being part of an alliance is to provide enhanced war fighting capability to its major rival and refuse point blank to send much needed combat troops to help fight the Taliban.  NATO must be wondering what exactly it gets out of France being a member, apart from Parisian petulance and a lot of headaches.  Perhaps Sarkozy would have sent an entire regiment if only the US and Britain had followed Russia’s example and offered to buy some French hardware…  With friends like the French, who needs enemies?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you France.  Our selfless partners in peace and cooperation.  Santé!

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