France To Become Full Member of NATO

France’s arms length relationship with NATO is about to end as President Nicolas Sarkozy will announce that France will rejoin the North Atalantic Alliance.

I can recall participating in NATO working groups and having to do a torturous kabuki dance just to get French participation on issues and actions the French and the rest of NATO wanted France in on.

France’s long divorce from NATO, which began in De Gaulle’s time, is about to end: and that should be good for France, and all the rest of NATO.

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PARIS (Reuters) – France wants to become a full member of NATO, ending more than four decades of self-imposed exile from the alliance’s inner core, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said on Wednesday.

France is NATO’s fourth largest contributor of troops, but in an effort to mark its difference with the United States it has long snubbed the organization’s integrated military command, which plans, trains and conducts joint operations.

Morin told a Defense conference that times had changed and that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was keen for France to play a full role in the world’s biggest Defense alliance.

“The president and myself are convinced that France can renew its relations with NATO whilst being an independent ally and free partner of the United States,” he said.

France quit the NATO command in March 1966 and ordered the organization to close its headquarters in France, with the then President Charles De Gaulle saying Paris did not want to be dragged into a war that was not of its own choosing.

The decision, taken in the midst of the east-west Cold War, was the culmination of years of Franco-American rivalry over control of the alliance and of nuclear weapons.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090
311/wl_nm/us_nato_france_1

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/03/11/france.sarkozy.nato/i
ndex.html

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