The submarine crisis: "It is pluralism ... but without France"

The submarine crisis: “It is pluralism … but without France”

Sunset – The French foreign minister does not stop expressing his anger. Australia’s breach of an arms contract would have generated the first Franco-American conflict in the post-Trump era. For US specialist Jean-Eric Brana, there is nothing surprising.

The breach of an arms contract between France and Australia revealed an alliance of the Indo-Pacific region between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, without including or even informing France. However, the US strategic redeployment was not unexpected, according to Jean-Eric Brana, a US specialist consulted by LCI, and the resulting Franco-American tension is largely a game of attitude. Three questions to highlight”submarine crisis.

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The submarine affair: an unprecedented crisis between France, Australia and the United States

Does Joe Biden’s strategic move seem unilateral?

I still think the opposite. If Biden were to take a unilateral stance, that would assume he was alone, which is far from reality. His reference would be to Donald Trump’s successive speeches at the United Nations, which declared “America first”, even “America only”. Biden returns to these principles, in a very remarkable way, and it’s a real “reset” he’s doing. What he advocates is a reorientation of American foreign policy: he wants to move away from the wars of the past, hence the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and focus on the threats that emerge today.

In his address to the United Nations, he is expected to make an appeal to the allies, as he already did when he met the organization’s Secretary-General. He explained to Antonio Guterres that the United States believes in the United Nations and the values ​​it represents. We are poles apart from Donald Trump with such rhetoric. They are really two completely different world views.

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Emmanuel Macron is no longer the “leader of the free world” he embodied 6 months ago

What happened in this submarine case?

Indeed, it is a concrete application of Joe Biden’s choice to reorient American foreign policy on the Asian axis, in the Indo-Pacific region. It has logically gone in search of new partnerships. If we can blame him for something, it is not unilateralism, but pluralism without France, which is not the same thing.

Le Drian’s anger is understandable: he who led the case when he was defense minister, he should record his breakup when he was foreign minister, he’s upset. But Lou Drian is not a partridge of the year, he is engaged in politics. And Emmanuel Macron’s view – also political – is to emerge as the leader of Europe, and even of the world. The French president, whom we have yet to hear on the issue, has ceded much of that role to Joe Biden since his election. He is no longer the “leader of the free world” he incarnated 6 months ago, certainly with some charismatic ease in the face of Donald Trump.

Biden fully assumed the role and duties, and said, “I am the president.” This alliance issue and the questioning of the contract by the Australians highlighted the positions. Everyone is seated, and by his side our president is trying to rally the Europeans to his white pillar. We must now note that the decisive area of ​​influence of the Americans is no longer in Europe, but in the region of the Indo-Pacific. That is why this French outrage is above all political, and can allow France to move forward with the goals it has set for itself.

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Were there other signs of this shift in attitudes?

Yes, when Biden reached the G7 summit, he requested partners in line with his rhetoric: He pointed to China as the source of all risks in the future, especially security and not just trade. The French, for their part, are following President Macron’s roadmap in 2019, which Le Drian mentioned at the United Nations: France intends to maintain a transversal position, without confrontation with China, by developing its own partnerships without having to turn back. for anyone.

It will be difficult to maintain the fractured position that the French government has affected for a few days in the long run. That is why the tone rises at the diplomatic level, because we must try to find a place for the tongs at the Gala of Nations. We can see that the US diplomatic deployment is very fast. In August, the vice president toured Asia to form alliances – although without success. They have also made bids for India and Japan, which do very well with France, and have fallen back so far. But we can see that all diplomatic activity is now focused on this area, and that it goes beyond the case of the submarines or the fact that he saw the betrayal of his trust.

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