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French President Francois Hollande Won’t Run For Re-Election

French Flag And Ballot Box

French President Francois Fillon announced today that he would not run for a second term as President of France: PARIS — President François Hollande stunned France on Thursday when he announced that he would not run for a second term in next year’s presidential election. In a televised address from the Élysée Palace, Mr. Hollande […]

French Center-Right Party Picks Presidential Candidate

French Flag And Ballot Box

The players are almost completely set for France’s 2017 Presidential elections, and the choice seems likely to come down to center-right candidate Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen, France’s Donald Trump.

French Court Strikes Down Burkini Ban

Bikini Burkini

A high-level French Court has struck down the ban on the so-called ‘burkini’ adopted by many towns along the French Riviera.

Dozens Dead, Dozens More Injured, As Truck Rams Bastille Day Crowd In Nice

Nice, France Truck Attack

A night of terror mars Bastille Day celebrations in France.

Francois Hollande’s Quest For A United Front Against ISIS May Be Doomed To Fail

Hollande Putin

France’s President has spent the week trying to forge and agreement on an anti-ISIS policy, but the two nations that matter the most also disagree the most.

No, Americans Should Not Feel Guilty For Showing Solidarity With France

Eiffel Tower French Tricolor

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, some people have argued that American solidarity with France, in contrast to seeming disregard for tragedy elsewhere, is something we should feel bad about. That argument is ridiculous.

France Strikes ISIS As Investigation Into Paris Attacks Continues

Paris Attack November 13-2

France launched its first attacks against ISIS even as the investigation into Friday’s attacks continues, but it’s not clear that the retaliation really accomplished anything.

French President Blames ISIS For Paris’s Night Of Terror, Vows French Response

Paris Attack November 13-2

France’s President blames ISIS, vows response, as death toll from Paris terror attacks stands at at least 127.

A Night Of Terror In Paris

Paris Attack November 13

Reports of at least up to sixty dead, a hostage situation, and attacks at multiple locations in Paris.

As Far As Europe Is Concerned, The Debate Over The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Over

Iran Nuclear Deal Congress

Congress is set to debate the Iran nuclear deal next month, but as far as Europe is concerned the debate is already over.

Marine Le Pen Forms Far Right Bloc In European Parliament

European Union Flag

Led by Marianne Le Pen, the head of France’s National Front, far right parties in the European Parliament have formed a coalition: PARIS — More than a year after populist, far-right parties surged in elections for the European Parliament, several of them announced on Tuesday that they had finally banded together with the goal of […]

Minsk Talks Result In Ukrainian Cease Fire Agreement

Minsk Leaders Photo

A cease fire deal in Ukraine, but a long term settlement will require compromises from both Moscow and Kiev.

Charlie Hebdo Suspects Dead After Dual Standoffs


The men responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre are dead, but the problems for France, and the rest of Europe, may just be at the beginning.

Deal On Iranian Nuclear Program Falls Apart, And That’s Mostly Not A Good Thing

Iran Nukes

Thanks largely to France, this weekend’s efforts to reach an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program fell apart.

U.K., France Seeking More Time For Decision On Syria Strikes


While there had been some indications earlier this week that a strike on Syria could happen before the Labor Day Weekend, two of America’s closes allies are seeking to slow the decision making process down: LONDON — U.S. efforts to forge an international coalition to support a military strike on Syria faced fresh uncertainty Thursday, […]

French Decry U.S. Surveillance Programs, Are Discovered To Have Their Own Surveillance Program

France Surveillance

The French were indignant about reports of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Now we know they have own of their own.

U.S. Faces More Blowback Over Revelations Of Spying On Allies

Half american - Half european flag waving in the wind - clipping path included

The blowback from yesterday’s revelations about U.S. surveillance on European allies continues.

French Dip


The French economy has drifted into recession for the second time in four years.

France’s New Socialist President Owns Three Vacation Homes In Cannes


Apparently, the whole “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” thing doesn’t really apply to Socialists in France these days: France’s new Socialist president owns three holiday homes in the glamorous Riviera resort of Cannes, it emerged today. The 57-year-old who ‘dislikes the rich’ and wants to revolutionise his country […]

François Hollande Elected President Of France


As most observers had been expecting, François Hollande was elected the 9th President of the French Fifth Republic in a runoff with incumbent President Nicolas Sakorzy: François Hollande swept into office on Sunday, becoming the first Socialist to become president of France since François Mitterrand left office in 1995. Mr. Hollande campaigned on a kinder, […]

Ben Stein’s Odd Response To The Arrest Of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Ben Stein Bueller

Ben Stein seems to have been out to lunch when he wrote his column about Dominique Strauss-Kahn

The Odd French Reaction To The Arrest Of Dominique Strauss-Kahn

IMF Head Assault

Some French politicians and intellectuals seem offended that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is being treated like a common criminal.

British Parliament Debates Libya Commitment (And So Do The French)


The English are so quaint, what with their odd way of spelling colour, those double-decker buses, the way they call elevators “lifts,” and their cute little devotion to the idea of democratically debating whether their country should go to war: London – The British government won overwhelming parliamentary backing late Monday for its role in […]

Jacques Chirac Corruption Trial


Former French president Jacques Chirac is being tried on corruption charges stemming from misconduct as mayor of Paris.

Gypsies Leaving France After Crackdown


France, which has earned international attention for banning the hijab, is now at it again, cracking down on the Roma. CSM (“Gypsies leave France amid crackdown on illegals“): French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to crack down on illegal gypsies from Romania and Bulgaria got concretely under way this week, as the first of some 700 […]

The French Take Their Football Seriously


France’s World Cup team utterly imploded this past week and now the President is getting involved.  Via the BBC:  World Cup 2010: Nicolas Sarkozy to probe French failure. I must confess, to my American eye the above headline looks a bit odd.  However, when there is a cabinet level minister of sports, there are grounds […]

China’s Economy Is Similar to That of France?

To echo Brad DeLong, why, oh why, don’t we have a better pundit class? There is a similarity between the economy of China and that of France. Matt Yglesias doesn’t know anything about either one of them.

Europe’s War Against The Veil And The Burqa: Liberation, Or Assault On Religious Freedom ?


Last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy became the latest European leader to take the lead in an ongoing fight against Muslim women wearing Islamic garb, specifically the full-face veil, or niqba, and the burqa, in public when he promised to introduce a bill that would ban both items in France. But, it’s not just France […]

Europe’s Nadir?

USA-EU Flags

“It is more than a little ironic that NATO has committed itself to defining a new strategic concept at precisely the moment the transatlantic relationship counts for less than at any time since the 1930s.”  So begins an FT op-ed by CFR president Richard Haass. I assess this argument in “Goodbye to Europe?,” a lengthy […]

Kwame James, Shoe Bomb Hero, Becomes Citizen

Kwame James Citizen

Kwame James, a private citizen who helped subdue Richard Read, is now an American citizen. Kwame James had to wait nearly 10 years to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen, a long time compared with the time he spent helping subdue would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid on a trans-Atlantic flight.  James, now 32, wore […]

Taxes Per Person


Harvard economist Greg Mankiw argues that taxation as a percentage of GDP is a misleading way to compare national tax burdens and instead argues that we should consider taxes per person, which he calculates as Taxes/GDP x GDP/Person.   Using this metric, the United States is in the middle of the pack of major economies: France […]

Nuclear Treaty Symbolic But Useful


President Obama announced this morning that he had reached an agreement with his Russian counterpart on a new START agreement. While I’ve generally been dismissive of Obama’s “Reset Button” approach to relations with Moscow, I believe this treaty was a no-brainer. I explain why in my New Atlanticist piece, “Nuclear Treaty a New START.” The […]

Euro Fate Rests in German Hands

Angela Merkel Greek Rescue Summit

The unfolding Euro crisis has raised a new variant on the old German Question.  For much of its history as a state, Germany has been the pivotal state in Europe.  After the Cold War and the reunification of East and West, the fate of “Europe” as a unified political and economic space depended entirely on […]

EU Whining Belies US Decline Talk

Catherine Ashton Haiti

Futurist Joel Kotkin is swimming against the recent American decline tide in forecasting a world where China will still trail the United States as an economic power in 2050.  Then again, as Matthew Yglesias points out, Kotkin thinks previous predictions of European preeminence proved “staggeringly off the mark,” even though the combined EU economy is […]

U.S. Tightens Airport Screening for Foreigners


The Obama administration has announced that citizens traveling to the United States from 14 countries will undergo more intensive airport security screening.   Eric Lipton for NYT: Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that […]

Euro-Blogging at New Atlanticist

EU Flag

I’ve got two new pieces up at my day blog, both involving the EU. “Obstacles to a European Foreign Policy” riffs off Charlemagne‘s suggestion that “most EU countries do not really have foreign policies. They have neighbourhood policies, which may or may not drag them into some nasty spats that make little sense to outsiders.”  […]

How Will NATO Add 7,000?


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced that NATO members will deploy an additional 7,000 troops to Afghanistan: Twenty-five countries have announced that they will deploy additional troops next year, and more contributions are expected “during the coming weeks and months,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. However, officials were still trying to […]

Europe’s New Leadership in Perspective


My latest for Foreign Policy, “The Eurocrats Europe Needs,” is up.   It attempts to bring some perspective to the negative reactions — my own included! — that accompanied the selection of  Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton as president and high representative for foreign policy, respectively, of the EU. Many had hoped for a kind […]

Marking the Anniversary of the Embassy Seizure

Iran hostage crisis

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the seizing of the U. S. embassy in Tehran by factions of the revolution that overthrew the shah. President Obama has issued a statement on the occasion which I will reproduce in full here: Thirty years ago today, the American Embassy in Tehran was seized. The 444 days that […]

Obama’s Europe Neglect Could Bring Bush Nostalgia


My first piece for ForeignPolicy.com, “Europe’s Obama Fatigue,” is online. Despite George W. Bush’s defiant “you’re with us or you’re against us” public stance, he actively solicited advice and input from his NATO partners. Obama, by contrast, is saying all the right things in public about transatlantic relations and NATO but adopting a high-handed policy and […]

Old Europe, New Europe


Back in 2003, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld famously noted that while “Old Europe” (particularly France and Germany) was hard to work with, America could count on “New Europe.”   Fast forward to 2009 and we may have reversed polarity. My latest New Atlanticist essay, “Losing New Europe, Too?” explores this evolution, including why Western Europe is […]

Health Reform: What Liberals Want


Kevin Drum seconds Alex Massie that a British-style nationalized health system is not a politically feasible option in the United States.  Indeed, even Democrats don’t want that: [W]ith the exception of a few outliers, the liberal community really, truly doesn’t want a fully government owned and operated healthcare system like the NHS.  We want a […]

Healthcare Reform ‘Fact-Checking’


Steve Benen heaps praise on ABC News‘ new Fact Check segment for “actually informing the public about a controversy in a fair and accurate way.” Kate Snow tackled the vile right-wing demagoguery on end-of-life care, and while she refrained from calling Palin and her ilk “liars,” she made it very clear that the accusations about […]

Seen in the Comments–Vizzini Edition


In this post of mine on Efficiency and Administrative costs frequent commenter Michael Reynolds wrote, How about we take the French system plus 20%? Hell, France plus 50% would represent a staggering windfall for us. In fact, we could buy France with the savings. I don’t think that word (windfall) means what you think it […]

Health Care Debate’s Ecological Fallacy


Kevin Drum argues, correctly I think, that British- and Canadian-style socialized medicine is not on the table in the United States and that we should therefore frame the debate in terms of a French- or Dutch-style mixed system.  He further cites Jonathan Cohn‘s argument that these systems are quite good. But in the course of […]

EU Elections: Good Night for the Right


I begin my New Atlanticist roundup essay “European Parliament Moves Right” with, “The weekend’s European Parliament produced good news for the center-right parties, bad news for the center-left, and good news for radical parties of all stripes.” I plan other posts today on the implications for the major governments and smaller states in Europe.  This […]

Let France Do It

Presumably invigorated by our resounding successes in nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, the editors of the Washington Post have come down in favor of U. S.-led nation-building as the solution for piracy in Somalia: Last week’s crisis offers the Obama administration an opportunity to avoid perpetuating past errors. No, we aren’t advocating another massive U.N. […]

France Defies US on NATO


Who would ever have guessed that France’s reentry into the NATO military command would cause headaches for the United States? French defense minister Herve Morin signaled that his country will attempt to be a counterweight to the United States now that it rejoined the NATO military command.  In addition to reiterating that France will not […]

New Iron Curtain?


The political financial crisis came to a head yesterday in Europe, with Hungary begging for help from its fellow EU members under the peril of a new “iron curtain” dividing the Continent and getting matter-of-factly rejected.  My New Atlanticist piece on the controversy, “Economic ‘Iron Curtain’ Dividing Europe?” concludes: The present crisis has had the […]

No Additional French Troops for Afghanistan

The French Defense Minister has ruled out sending additional French troops to Afghanistan: PARIS (AP) — France’s defense minister is ruling out for now increasing the country’s military presence in Afghanistan. Herve Morin told France-Inter radio Sunday that France has “already made a considerable effort” toward stabilizing the troubled country. He said “there’s no question […]

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