Prodigal Son or Trojan Horse: What's in it for France?

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Abstract

Debate in France about the return to NATO's integrated command structure revolved largely around whether or not Sarkozy had broken with the sacrosanct Gaullist principles of 'non-alignment'. In reality, the decision was taken for quite different reasons. Since the end of the cold war, France has found itself heavily involved with NATO in a range of overseas missions. Militarily, to remain outside the command structure had become a major liability. The move, militarily, approximated to the return of the Prodigal Son. At the political level, the ongoing process of NATO's quest for a 'new strategic concept' meant that France needed to be fully present in the internal debates. Here, the move is closer to that of the Trojan Horse. There is no break with the Gaullist tradition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-28
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Security
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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