Second, this volume is aimed primarily at the American foreign policy community, where, by definition, knowledge of U. policies, as well as of its determining factors, can be taken as given.But knowledge of France in the United States is relatively thin because very few recent U. studies address current French policies, and understanding of French domestic policymaking as it affects foreign policy is scarcer still.As Védrine reiterates, candid criticism is a mark of friendship. The purpose of this study is to examine broadly the French-American relationship since the cold war.
Historical allies and comrades in arms, the United States and France are often fractious and quarrelsome. Even if a divorce were possible, there would be insufficient grounds to support it.
During the cold war, their sharp clashes never shook the core conviction that, in their enduring fraternity, the positive elements would always outweigh the negative ones. The word suivisme (follower ship) used by critics on the left and right of the political spectrum is meant to be strongly pejorative. Anti-Americanism is now the preserve of small, marginal groups on the right and the left and a handful of maverick intellectuals from an earlier era.
This truth held despite France's dramatic withdrawal from NATO's integrated command structure under Charles de Gaulle in 1966, which forced the alliance's military headquarters to move from Fontainebleau to Mons, in Belgium; their relationship also survived France's determined effort to divest the French treasury of dollar-denominated assets in exchange for gold bullion in a frontal challenge to dollar dominance of the postwar international monetary system. They are acutely sensitive to signs that France is following in the wake of a U. The expression "hyper-puissance," coined by Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine, well illustrates these mixed French feelings of apprehension and respect.
The emphasis is on the most salient events and their repercussions on bilateral dealings between Washington and Paris and on Euro-American relations generally.
Much of our analysis concentrates on the aspirations, achievements, and contradictions of French policy-and on the American response to it. First, there is more attentive French analysis of U. policies than American analysis of French policies.