DeGaulle, NATO, and Gaullist Foreign Policy
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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In early 1966, General Charles de Gaulle announced that France would modify the conditions of her participation in the Atlantic Alliance. This decision resulted in the removal of French ground and air forces and headquarters personnel from the NATO commands, the evacuation of U.S. and Canadian forces from French soil, and the relocation of NATO headquarters and installations in neighboring countries. Although subsequent negotiations worked out terms for continued military cooperation between France and NATO, de Gaulles action precipitated the most serious crisis in the history of the Atlantic Alliance. De Gaulles decision, its place in Gaullist foreign policy, the reactions of Alliance partners, and its effects on NATO have been written about extensively. This paper is not intended to provide a narrative of these events, with which the reader is presumed to be familiar. Rather, it is an attempt to understand de Gaulles decision-making framework in terms of his perceptions, choices, and expectations by examining the NATO withdrawal and other relevant examples of his foreign policies. From this one should be able to discern the key factors that explain his decisions, conceptualize his strategy as a decision-maker, and assess his performance in achieving his foreign policy goals.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History