Skip to comments.Why The United States Needs To Put Its Weight Behind France In The Mediterranean; It is a gift from heaven that one of America’s oldest allies, is now volunteering to shoulder additional security burdens.
Posted on 08/17/2020 7:24:52 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
As forces mass in Europe, the biggest stumbling block to Europes future strategic independence as well as American grand strategy is once again Germany. North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies Turkey and Greece are embroiled in a dispute over Turkish oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean, and Greece is backed by the French navy. After the French military conducted training exercises with Greek forces in the region on Thursday, Turkey warned France to retreat. Within a day, three things happened in rapid succession.
First, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed a treaty to relocate troops out of Germany to Poland, quietly diminishing Germanys role in Euro-security. Berlin threw a tantrum about French unilateralism, which could be interpreted as a support for Turkey. This response comes as French naval forces stare down a Turkish flotilla violating Greek maritime sovereignty in order to drill oil. Meanwhile, after re-converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provided a Hamas terrorist political asylum, intervened in Libya and Syria, accused France of neo-colonialism, and called Paris a bully.
The current German posturing is baffling. Both Greece and France are members of the European Union, while Turkey is not. As the only EU nuclear power in the European continent, France has the military power to back its words. Germany is not as fortunate. Furthermore, Greece prefers France as a great power ally and hasnt forgotten what Germany did during the debt crisis.
Greece, France, and Egypt are status quo powers trying to formulate a natural equilibrium against the increasingly hostile Turkish expansionism. With Germany content lecturing everyone on greater EU responsibility through diplomatic means, they are simultaneously sabotaging Frances effort to shoulder a greater military burden.
It doesnt have to be this way. The fundamental American (and formerly British) interest in the European continent was to maintain a delicate balance while ensuring there is no single overarching power in the continental mainland. This strategy, in international relations terminology, is called offshore balancing. Every modern American administration has tried to make Europeans shoulder more of the security burden, a position that was untenable immediately after World War II, but that is very much possible in the current geopolitical climate.
For American strategists, it should be considered a gift from heaven that France, one of Americas oldest allies, is now volunteering to shoulder additional security burdens. After all, American foreign policy players have many more pressing issues to worry about, a rising China most of all.
Holding American retrenchment hostage is German paranoia about losing European leadership to France. The fact that Germany has a strong Turkish diaspora weighs heavily in the strategic circles of Berlin. In the final analysis, that shouldnt matter to either Britain or the United States its an internal German problem to solve.
Currently, the Eastern Mediterranean is one of the hyper-tense locations on the planet, aided and abetted by the fact that Turkey has been allowed to repeatedly betray players in the region. Yet for the first time in a long time, from Egypt in Libya, and France and Greece in the Aegean, the Turks are facing a concerted pushback. Germany’s effort to stop that only likely means one of two alternatives: either Turkey is given the green light to do whatever it wants in the Aegean, or Washington and London become bogged down in a region that is more in Berlin and Pariss interest than in Anglo-Americans’.
So far, it appears French President Emmanuel Macron and President Trump are acting at least rhetorically in concert. According to a White House spokesman, both leaders expressed concern over increased tension between NATO allies Greece and Turkey during a call on Friday. But that is not enough.
Its time to actively throw U.S. diplomatic support behind France and show meaningful encouragement for an ally that is taking proactive steps to shoulder further military and security responsibility. Most importantly, such a move would balance Turkish expansionism in Eastern Europe.
For years now, Erdoğan has manipulated Western insecurity and disunity. If, however, Turkey found itself isolated against France, Greece, and Egypt backed at least diplomatically by the United States, it would realize that choices have consequences. Joint Egyptian-French control of Libya will seal off the north African coast, the platform of a million migrants heading to Europe, and might force the secular officers of the Turkish military to understand that they are inches away from losing Anglo-American patronage.
As for Turkish help in the Black Sea, British and American bases in Cyprus and French basing rights in Greece guarantee a long-distance force projection capability. With diminishing involvement in the Middle East, Turkey will soon need the West more than the West needs Erdoğan’s regime.
Finally, supporting France would teach a lesson to Germany and the EU. A Greece-France-Egypt axis to share the security burden in the Mediterranean and balance Turkish expansionism is a rare strategic opportunity that Washington shouldnt pass up.
French version of Build the Wall?
It's a one-way relationship that does nothing for us. NATO is a dead-letter, a moot albatross.
Just like ancient days France good guys Germans bad guys
Yeah right. Just how we helped France with Viet Nam.
It’s not 40 years ago. We don’t need turkey’s help if something goes down in the seas there.
The leader is turning churches into mosques, bought ISIS’ oil AND gave them free passage...should have been out of NATO right there...and now supports terrorist groups openly.
And germany is a bully and has been for as long as I can recall.
And France is shoving Muslim migrants at Britain by the boatload and via the Chunnel.
Meanwhile, Britain is going full fascist against anyone caught criticizing Muslims or Islam.
Screw ‘em all!
Staying out of it has encouraged the natural alliances to come forward. Our presence in the situation sucks all the air out of the room, so to speak, and completely changes the dynamic. Sometimes thats necessary and good, but its better to let things work out organically, if that is at all possible. We should only get involved to prevent things from spiraling completely out of control, or if we have a direct interest.
With no support from EU, Greece has had to form new alliances, with France and Italy stepping forward outside of the EU structure, and with Egypt and Israel. In Libya, Egypt has allied with Russia to keep the Turks at bay. In Syria, Russia has aligned with Assad and Iran, and Israel is working to separate Russia from Iran.
In the Middle East, fear of Iran has brought a complete transformation as Saudi Arabia, Oman, and UAE seek Israeli support and abandon the Palestinians in order to get it. Who saw that coming? Though, its been coming for a very long time, just under the surface.
We have a role to play, but letting the local actors take their responsibilities is a good thing.
The point about Germany’s diminishing influence is a good one. Their refusal to get involved in helping Greece has had the effect of making Germany irrelevant.
And shifting US soldiers to Poland does the same.
Trump is sidelining Merkel, and events are helping him.
Let the French manage their own affairs.
I remember when the US and Brits did all the work, but
deGaulle took the credit.
My recollection is that the French troops that were doing so much fighting in Africa a few years ago had to be transported, along with all their gear and supplies, by US aircraft. The French had troops, alright, but no airlift capacity to get them anywhere or keep them supplied.
If that is what they are going to do this time, I say let them do it on their own. They are not our allies and certainly not our friends as far as I can see.
is not France the oldest American Ally?
Going down that road, aid to the American colonies actually bankrupt the French King and ultimately resulted in the French Revolution.
America was a sideshow in the French war with the British but cost a lot of borrowed money
Compared to the U.S., Britain is a small country. The reach of UK police is everywhere and an indiscreet tweet or Facebook post will have the Bobbies at one’s door. The head of the arresting detail will probably be Muslim.
By the way, Britain and the U.S. now have about the same number of Muslims inside their borders, around 3,400,000 each. Look at the difference in country size.
As for Brexiteers, they’re not the ones in the driver’s seat.
France is really Germany at this point.
Yeah like Vietnam
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