Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My colleague here at the Naval War College, Derek Reveron, likes to say, "Strategy helps you either to avoid train wrecks or to prepare for them." One of the problems that we have in the greater DC beltway is not wanting to confront the reality of train wrecks. One reason I liked Charles Kupchan's essay in the forthcoming November/December issue of Foreign Affairs was that he hit home the point that how America expects its allies and friends to react and what they will actually do (in this case, responding to the League of Democracies idea) can be two different things.

I may try to explore this theme at a later point in assessing the trajectory, so far, of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. "Sarko" the "American" was his nickname--but since assusming his office, to what extent have those sentiments driven how he has conducted French foreign policy? It does seem that Sarkozy does take Reveron's aphorism to heart in how he deals with the rest of Europe, with North Africa and the Middle East, with China, with Russia and with the United States.

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