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France Rejoins Nato

International Outlook: Global Wrapup


France made big news in the mid-'60s, when President Charles de Gaulle took French troops out of the command structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in a bid for more independence. In the past few months, however, France has quietly been putting them back. French warplanes, answerable to a NATO commander, are among those in line to make bombing runs over Bosnia.

Part of this unannounced switch stems from France's experience in the Persian Gulf war, when French troops in Operation Desert Storm put themselves under U.S. command after they found their own logistics and intelligence capabilities were inadequate. But what sealed the change was U.S. agreement at the January NATO summit to let the European Union's defense arm use NATO's assets, in exchange for closer French military ties with the alliance.

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