Don’t go wobbly, Sarko

As Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy jostle for position in the upcoming French presidential runoff, Sarkozy—generally thought of as pro-American—appears to be engaging in some ritualistic Yankee-bashing. He blasted the U.S. position on climate change in a recent interview. That’s fair enough. But he also suggested that French forces may not be in Afghanistan for ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.
602243_070427_NicolasSarkozy_05.jpg
602243_070427_NicolasSarkozy_05.jpg

As Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy jostle for position in the upcoming French presidential runoff, Sarkozy—generally thought of as pro-American—appears to be engaging in some ritualistic Yankee-bashing. He blasted the U.S. position on climate change in a recent interview. That's fair enough. But he also suggested that French forces may not be in Afghanistan for long if he's elected:

 

The long-term presence of French troops in that part of the world does not look definitive to me," he said in an interview with France-2 television.

As Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy jostle for position in the upcoming French presidential runoff, Sarkozy—generally thought of as pro-American—appears to be engaging in some ritualistic Yankee-bashing. He blasted the U.S. position on climate change in a recent interview. That’s fair enough. But he also suggested that French forces may not be in Afghanistan for long if he’s elected:

 

The long-term presence of French troops in that part of the world does not look definitive to me,” he said in an interview with France-2 television.

That’s quite troubling, particularly in light of the recent French withdrawal of special forces from the region. For the moment, I’m attributing Sarkozy’s loose talk to the need to lure centrist voters skeptical of cooperation with the United States.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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