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
[...] of both, the French embassy in the United States and the US Embassy in Paris's 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. [...]
[...] France: Factors Shaping Foreign Policy and Issues in the U.S.-French Relations. CRS Report for Congress, May are all Americans”, Jean-Marie Colombani, Embassy of France in the US http://ambafrance- us.org/news/statmnts/2005/cooperation_franceus05.asp Address by his Excellency Dominique de Villepin, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, before the United Nations Security Council, 3/19/2003 http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/article.php3?id_article=4917 CBS News, Do You Want Freedom Fries With March http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/11/politics/main543555.shtml Published in the English-speaking world under the title 9/11: The Big Lie. Literally means Horrifying Fraud”. See the official website http://www.effroyable-imposture.net/ Embassy of France in [...]
[...] Controversy on defense, NATO and the ESDP Defense has always been an issue between Washington and Paris. France began to develop its own nuclear force program in the 60s as a way to ensure a more independent defense. Today France's defense still relies largely on the American military means via NATO, although the presidency of Jacques Chirac saw a rise in military spending. Even if France had been out of NATO's integrated military structure since De Gaulle, it is still a strong partner. [...]
[...] The EU and US: Friends or Rivals? National Europe Centre Paper No March 2004. GALLIS, Paul. France: Factors Shaping Foreign Policy and Issues in the U.S.- French Relations. CRS Report for Congress May KAUFMAN, Stephen. France's Sarkozy May Help Turn Page on Franco-American Relations. US Department of State.
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