A Certain Idea of France by Phillip H. Gordon

By Phillip H. Gordon

As France starts off to confront the hot demanding situations of the post-Cold warfare period, the time has come to check how French safety coverage has advanced on the grounds that Charles de Gaulle set it on an self sustaining path within the Nineteen Sixties. Philip Gordon exhibits that the Gaullist version, opposite to broadly held ideals, has lived on--but that its inherent inconsistencies have grown extra acute with expanding eu unification, the diminishing American army function in Europe, and similar traces on French army budgets. The query at the present time is whether or not the Gaullist legacy will permit a robust and assured France to play an entire function in Europe's new defense preparations or even if France, due to its will to independence, is destined to play an remoted, nationwide function. Gordon analyzes army doctrines, recommendations, and budgets from the Sixties to the Nineties, and in addition the evolution of French coverage from the early debates approximately NATO and the ecu group to the Persian Gulf warfare. He finds how and why Gaullist principles have for therefore lengthy prompted French safeguard coverage and examines attainable new instructions for France in an more and more united yet probably risky Europe.

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In this sense, it is not difficult to read in de Gaulle an element of what might be called irrationality; he would never have denied that his view of France stemmed from something more than an impassive analysis of the political utility of the state. ”27 Returning to power in 1958, de Gaulle reasoned that “France must fulfill her mission as a world power. We are everywhere in the world. There is no corner of the earth, where, at any given time, men do not look to us and ask what France has to say.

For better or for worse, Gaullist ideas have left a legacy that has heavily influenced—and at the same time closely reflected—the perspectives and preoccupations of the French. As one turns to the security policies that emerged during the Gaullist years, the fundamental principles behind those policies will be worth keeping in mind. CHAPTER TWO The Missing Pillar FRANCE’S ROLE IN THE DEFENSE OF EUROPE IN THE 1950s AND 1960s LARGELY THROUGH de Gaulle’s intransigence during and after World War II, France had ensured itself at least a nominal place among the world’s powers—as an occupying power in Germany, on the exclusive United Nations Security Council, and in Berlin—and repeatedly claimed to merit a leading role in NATO.

38 Sifting through the various arguments in the literature about de Gaulle, two very broad, and very different, interpretations emerge. S. 39 It tends to take the two terms literally and professes to see international stature and total freedom of action as the goals of France in and of themselves. It questions the inherent value of grandeur as a goal and argues that de Gaulle’s pursuit of national sovereignty was both harmful and unrealistic. It also raises questions about Gaullist style and tactics, no matter what goals were involved.

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