From the Editors of Bloomberg Businessweek: French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ushered in a new era of cooperation with a foreign policy that brings the country closer to the U.S. than it has been in decades. Vive la France. . . .
The French emergence as a full partner of the U.S. and a leader of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might be the most important aftereffect of the effort to depose Qaddafi. By his reluctance to lead on Libya, U.S. President Barack Obama challenged Europe to take greater responsibility for its security. Sarkozy and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron were up to the task. . . .
France has always seen itself as a world power, so its global ambitions are no surprise. What is new, and extremely positive, is that France wants to be a partner of the U.S. in leading NATO, rather than a competitor. . . .
The French embrace of NATO could immeasurably strengthen the trans-Atlantic partnership. Strong relations with Europe remain the central pillar of U.S. national security. As was seen most recently in Libya, when serious foreign-policy work needs to be done, the U.S. turns first to its European allies — not to its Asian friends, and not to emerging powers such as India or Brazil. We hope that Obama recognizes this reality. . . .
France and the U.S. have been uneasy allies for most of the past century. As a result, their friendship has never reached its true potential. Sarkozy has taken important steps to turn that around. It is now up to Obama to respond by giving Europe the attention it deserves. (photo: Getty)