NATO may have contracted "the French Disease."
According to the Financial Times (subscription may or may not be required), French sidestepping of NATO at the beginning of military operations in Libya has divided the no-fly-zone coalition. On March 21, French and German ambassadors to NATO walked out after the secretary general faulted France for impeding NATO involvement and Germany for not participating actively.
Turkey is said to be offended because her representatives had not been invited to a "summit" in Paris. There are also tensions between the United States and Britain on one hand and France on the other. One western official is reported to have said, <
As we got closer and closer to closing the deal at Nato, France suddenly blocked everything, which confused us at first … But then it became clear – [French president Nicolas] Sarkozy wanted to announce strikes just as he was walking out of his meeting in Paris where he was leading the show.”
France denied all charges.
Perhaps there is something to be said for better United States leadership in international matters. Quo vadis?