FromDuck of Minerva: France is the best-est ally ever! Lots of people linking to this article. Yes, the Libyan adventure certainly raises France’s profile as an active contributor, assertive military and the rest. But to be fair to the French (yes, completely out of character for me, given how easy it is to make jokes in my big lecture class), the Libyan crisis is not the first time that the French have been assertive., the
During the Afghanistan war (which, by the way, is still an on-going NATO mission), France moved from being relatively restricted to being quite willing to take risks. When [Nicolas] Sarkozy replaced [Jacques] Chirac, we all got a NATO-friendly (to say the least) President. Sarkozy moved some and then nearly all of French combat forces from the safety of Kabul to the more dangerous areas of Kapisa.
Postwar French have never been pacifists–they just have been known for pursuing their own interests. A lot of those interests were in Africa, with Qaddafi serving as a critical obstacle to French ambitions. So, the French are so very bold now, taking the lead in the effort, even willing go without NATO. (photo: French Tribune)