February 13, 2003

TNR's much-linked "Wither Europe" is

TNR's much-linked "Wither Europe" is appropriately withering. If the days of France punching above its weight on the international stage are numbered, they do indeed appear to be determined to hurry the process along as best they can. As a practical matter, however, I suspect that Robert Lane Greene has the right idea, in the near term anyway:

The ultimate fear is that France will dig in and veto America's efforts to win a resolution to disarm Iraq by force. But given that France is a mid-ranking power lucky to enjoy far more clout than its population, economy, and history merit, which is more likely: That France will ratify its own irrelevance by vetoing U.N. action, thus forcing America to circumvent the United Nations--the most enduring source of French influence--and act alone? Or that France will hold out until the last, bending the wording of an eventual resolution as close as possible to its own position before jumping onto the back of the inevitable American victory? Anyone unsure of the answer would be advised to read up on the deliberations leading up to the first Gulf war--which France, after initial objections, supported.

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 13, 2003 06:40 PM | TrackBack