News & Politics

French Army Chief of Staff Resigns After Budget Cut Fight With President Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron and Melania Trump during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. Photo by Denis Allard/pool/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)

If this doesn’t convince you that Donald Trump was absolutely right to criticize European leaders for not sufficiently investing in defense, I don’t know what will:

General Pierre de Villiers, the French army’s chief of staff, resigned on Wednesday after an increasingly bitter public feud with President Emmanuel Macron over proposed budget cuts to the military.

“In the current circumstances I see myself as no longer able to guarantee the robust defense force I believe is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people, today and tomorrow, and to sustain the aims of our country,” the general wrote in a statement according to Le Monde, France’s most well-known daily.

De Villiers is especially angry at President Macron because, before, he promised to actually increase defense spending to the 2 percent of gross domestic product demanded by the NATO agreement. Macron says he’s “forced” to cut defense spending by 850 million euros. If he does not, he says, France can’t stay within the European Union’s 3 percent of GDP deficit cap.

Clearly, the Grand European Project is more important to Macron than his country’s security and NATO.

When General Pierre de Villiers was informed of this decision he reportedly told French lawmakers in an angry outburst:

“I will not let myself be f*ck*d like this!”

Ouch.

Funny enough, by breaking his promise to invest in defense, Macron has once again proved President Trump right. In case you forgot: Trump criticized European NATO members earlier this year for not paying their fair share for their common security.

When Trump issued this warning, European leaders reacted with outrage. Trump was too close to Putin, they said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went even so far as to say that, under Trump, America is no longer a “reliable ally” for Europe. Oh yes, they were so angry that they lost themselves completely and fell all over each other in order to dismiss Trump’s criticism as words spoken by a political novice — someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Clearly, Trump does. Europe would rather hand out money to Greek and Italian banks than invest in its own security and in that of its allies. As a result, not only Europe but the whole NATO alliance is weaker than ever before. That’s not because of Trump, but because of Macron and European leaders like him.