Apostate Socialist and French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, has defended the French decision to rejoin NATO's integrated military command in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.
Q. - Why is it in France’s interest to rejoin NATO’s integrated command, a cumbersome bureaucratic structure, unsuited to conducting the modern asymmetric wars, as we have seen in Afghanistan?
THE MINISTER - That’s your view. We are founding members of the Atlantic Alliance. General de Gaulle withdrew us from the integrated command in 1966 since he didn’t want, in the Cold War era, foreign troops stationed in France not under French command. Today the situation has changed. The Warsaw Pact and communist danger no longer exist. We have participated in all the NATO operations, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, yet we haven’t been involved in developing the plans. France can no longer go on being the only film director not invited to contribute to the screenplay! This in no way calls our independence of decision-making into question. I remind you that Germany’s full membership of NATO didn’t compel her to participate in the invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, we are going to get some significant NATO commands and, above all, contribute to drawing up the plans which we are supposed, if we accept them, to apply. We are in favour of NATO’s Europeanization! On top of this, it will be easier for the Europeans to decide to conduct external operations, without American agreement or participation.
The interview touches a number of interesting questions, and you can read it all here.