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  • France Needs Strategic Approach to Its War with Al-Qaeda

    France’s declaration of war on al-Qaeda is merely a public statement of fact: France takes counterterrorism seriously. Following last weekend’s statement from al-Qaeda that it had murdered a septuagenarian French aid worker, Prime Minister Francois Fillon declared “war.” French troops have since attacked al-Qaeda bases in North Africa and ramped up cooperation with Paris’s regional allies.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy should translate this public show of strength to France’s other theater of war against Islamist terrorists: Afghanistan. France has been just one of several European countries to under-resource the U.N.-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. They have provided too few troops with too many national caveats on their deployments, and in 2007, Paris turned down a NATO request for desperately needed additional helicopters. When President Obama outlined the alliance’s new counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan in December and requested a European show of support, Sarkozy grossly undercut Obama by announcing that he would not send “a single soldier more” to Afghanistan.

    France’s declaration of war on al-Qaeda also stands incongruously with its shrinking defense budget. Across Europe, defense ministers are claiming that military cooperation with their European allies will increase capacity and allow for deep cuts to their defense budgets. Although efficiency savings are certainly there to be found, this is mostly wishful thinking in an effort to rationalize the further gutting of woeful under-spending on national defense.

    On September 12, 2001, France essentially joined its NATO allies in declaring war on al-Qaeda when it voted in favor of the Washington Treaty’s first—and only—invocation of the Article 5 collective defense guarantee. A public declaration of war in North Africa is a political demonstration of support, but that should translate into a more strategic approach to this generation-long war on terrorism, a war in which Afghanistan remains the central front.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to France Needs Strategic Approach to Its War with Al-Qaeda

    1. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Let the Frogs fight their own battles for once. They are an insulting, selfserving, selfish, selfinvented people, with an invented language that they will not even give the courtesy of allowing a newly invented word to remain as it was created, but must change it and its sound entirely. Let them bath, shave their women, and find the guts to make a stand and first kick out all the Muslim/Islamic Mosques with their Sharia Laws, for that is not a religion, it is an Enemy with a Political threat to kill all who do not believe as "They" do, and that is written in their Qur'an.

    2. Dan Urias says:

      Any idea how time we as Judeo-Christian Americans are out voted to get our first Muslim President? Not a "wanna-be" like Obama.

    3. Pingback: France Needs Strategic Approach to Its War with Al-Qaeda | The … | Galaxy Shopping

    4. Fred says:


      In your most recent piece (dated September 9), you describe the B61 as a tactical nuclear "bomber."

      The B61 is a tactical nuclear bomb.

    5. Michael says:

      After reading Lynn DeSpain's comment above, I'm amazed at how people can become so confused as to who the real enemy is!! I fear for the maturity of heritage.org's readership.

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