The Chasm between France and the United States
France and the United States have a long history of alliance. In the recent past cooperation has been limited, if not reluctant on both parts, and the relationship is evolving. On some levels, the two are not called to deal directly with each other, instead, there is an American identity versus a European identity, as well as an American identity versus a French identity. However, the special relationship between France and the United States is far from being over, and good relations between the two are vital to both countries in order to pursue the national interests of each. This research will consider the differences in foreign policy perspective between the US and France during the Bosnian crisis, the war in Afghanistan, and the International Criminal Court issue, attempting to illustrate the awkwardness of the synchronization of policy between France and the United States.
The important changes that have taken place in each nation’s government over the last 200 years have been the driving cause of the evolution of the relationship between the Americans and the French in their passage from two infant democracies conceived in the idealism of the late 18th century to the current world powers that each currently has become. From the beginning of its independence from Great Britain, the United States has had a sort of marriage with France, if for the wrong reasons, which lasted until perhaps WW2, before France’s post WW2 humiliation and De Gaulle’s attempts to restore national power. The separation came during the cold war, during what could be called a mid-century crisis, in which France sought to prove their independence from the increasingly dominant United States, and the Americans sought to keep Europe from the Soviets. “America’s new global ambitions appeared to them as just the latest example of a predominant state exercising its superior power.” As in any marriage, the jealous guarding of a spouse leads to pressures and desire for independence, and the French saw more and more often the Americanization of their culture. This separation has had an interesting effect in the dual efforts in the dealings with the progeny of democracy. This relationship has shown, concerning the French, it is necessary to read between the lines for ulterior motives regarding relationships. During the enlightenment, France celebrated its ideals and helped to finance the war of independence for the United States against Britain. It helped to foster the democracy in the ideological purpose of stimulating growth to the roots planted in the enlightenment period, while seeking to use its new friend against its longtime foe. In aiding in the American Revolution, France was simultaneously trying to limit the stronghold of Britain in the New World, helping the “barbaric” colonists, mainly in pursuit of their own interests.
According to Alfred Grossner, “the most acute...