I may be overdoing it with my thoughts on France as a friend of America and useful ally, but.......Sarkozy just keeps doing things that point to a rapprochement between us and the country that helped us escape the tyranny of British colonialism. Now they will fight in Afghanistan instead of pulling guard shifts in Kabul.
PARIS (Reuters) - France may send hundreds of ground troops to eastern Afghanistan where NATO-led forces are fighting al Qaeda-backed insurgents, Le Monde newspaper reported on Tuesday.
It said the move would be part of a new Afghan policy being worked out by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his advisers.
France has about 1,900 soldiers under NATO's Afghan command, most of them based in relatively calm Kabul, and Le Monde said the fresh troops would be deployed outside the capital.
"Their destination would be zones of potentially fierce fighting, preferably the eastern region of Afghanistan close to the tribal areas of Pakistan," it said.
I have always liked the way the French use their Foreign Legion to do the dirty work that crops up far too often. It is interesting to consider a US Legion or perhaps a NATO Legion conferring EU citizenship after serving. I have never been against alliances, just noting over the past decade that NATO has become increasingly incapable of operating any type of expeditionary forces. They can provide specialists or augment US combat power, but no NATO country or the alliance itself can project force without the US doing most of the heavy lifting.
One of the most vocal complaints of the left is that W failed to work with other countries especially in the time prior to invading Iraq. The left can make a case that the French obstructionism and back-stabbing of Colin Powell at the UN were proper because Saddam had no WMD. A case just as strong can be made that the French, Russians and the UN as a whole made it unlikely Saddam would comply with the Security Council resolutions. Not only did he know they were actively working against our efforts to pressure them, all of them were making huge, illegal satchels of cash in the UN run Oil for Palaces program.
It is heartening to see France make such a change in the course of 5 years. Germany seems a little more amenable to working with us under Angela Merkel as well. How much damage can W have done if Old Europe now is re-joining us for the fight against a terror that is more likely to homegrow among their Muslim populations than ours?