French President Nicolas Sarkozy, initially dubbed Sarko the American for his pro-U.S. stance, is finding it much tougher to deal with Washington than he had anticipated and is recalibrating his policies accordingly.One of the great opportunities of the second half of this decade was the election of a Americanophile as President of the Republic of France.
Stung by perceived snubs from U.S. President Barack Obama and encouraged by the growing importance of the G20, Sarkozy is increasingly reaching out to non-aligned states in an effort to extend France's international influence.
He has forged especially close ties with Brazil, is seeking alliances in central Asia and is intensifying his activities in the Middle East, using multi-billion dollar military and civilian nuclear trade deals as his calling card.
Believe it or not - the French have a deep and abiding affection for the USA - anyone who has spent more than a couple of days in Paris know this to be true. All the French people needed was a President who could take that affection and show it in a French way.
Sarkozy was that President.
I understand (but do not excuse) President Obama's personal grudge against the British - and in his narcissistic way his inability to keep that out of his official functions - but the break with France, Poland, and the Czech Republic is a strategic error of the greatest degree.
From getting partners in the future - to getting additional support in AFG in the near to mid-term; we have thrown away the good will that decades of Democrat and Republican foreign policy (in fits and starts) have nurtured. If you wanted to decrease American soft-power through the world - then spitting in the face of your best allies is a sure way to do it.
More to follow on this sad front.