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Dangerous liaisons: On the love-hate affair between the US and France

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  1. American tourists in Paris
  2. France and the United States: Historical allies, historical rivals?
  3. Iraq: A major showdown in the Franco-American relationship
  4. Controversy on defense: NATO and the ESDP
  5. An integrated trading relationship
  6. The US, France and the EU
  7. Nicolas Sarkozy: A new era of cooperation
  8. Bibliography

A quick look at the sheer number of French books written on the United States, whether it is on 9/11, Iraq, the environment, George W.Bush or any other foreign policy issue, shows how important is the United States for France. The opposite may not be so true. France is considered like one of America's oldest ally, although it is probably the less docile. While both countries have historically always been allies and shared the same values, a streak of competition and dispute often emerges between the two nations.

France is generally considered to be a medium-sized country but some particularities make it special with regard to the American foreign policy: Its influence in the European Union, the fact that France is a nuclear power and last but not least France's permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

The French-American alliance dates back to the birth of the United States and their deep historical and cultural connection cannot be denied. However, two major issues in foreign affairs had recently weakened the relationship: France's opposition to the American invasion of Iraq and its consecutive waves of resentment and the development of an independent European Security and Defense Policy.

[...] Those issues are still drawbacks in the French-American relationship, but the upcoming American election might be the beginning of a new foreign policy towards France and the EU. Bibliography Books, Articles and Reports AHEARN, Raymond. U.S.-French Commercial Ties. CRS Report for Congress. July Anonymous. Do You Want Freedom Fries With That? CBS News. March Anonymous. Outrage at Old Europe Remarks. BBC News. January Anonymous. Sarkozy: Iran's nuclear plan could be catastrophic. EuroNews. Anonymous. Sarko Steps Up. Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. [...]


[...] of both, the French embassy in the United States and the US Embassy in Paris's[1] state on their front pages that France is oldest ally of the United States?. While this view may not be shared by everyone, history does show that the relationship between France and the United States dates all the way back to the American Revolution, when French troops helped the Americans to resist the British. The US at that time was largely influenced by the ideals of the 1789 French Revolution. [...]


[...] Dominique Moisis wrote in the Financial Times in August 2001 that there were a ?growing divergence between America's perception of its moral leadership and European perceptions of a military-minded America obsessed with rogue states and weapons of mass destruction.?[14] The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a famous speech in 2003 in which called Germany and France problem?. He infuriated both countries by stating that ?You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's Old Europe.?[15] This was based on the European division over the war in Iraq and underlined the diverging points of view on the American foreign policy inside the Union. [...]

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