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Sunday October 24, 2021

France vents over submarines but alone on world stage

AFP
September 21, 2021

United Nations, United States: Choosing a full-fledged confrontation with the United States due to the loss of a mega-contract for submarines for Australia, France is making a risky bet and other nations are not rushing to its defense.

After Australia renounced its deal for conventional submarines in favor of US nuclear-powered ones, France took the extraordinary step of pulling its ambassadors from both Washington and Canberra for consultations.

Bertrand Badie, an international relations professor at the Sciences Po institute in Paris, said France had put itself in a position where it can only appear to be backing down or losing face once its ambassador returns to the United States, its historic ally.

"When you get into a crisis like this, you better know where the exit is," he said. Australia said it decided that nuclear submarines were a better choice to ensure its maritime edge as it announced a new three-way alliance with the United States and Britain widely seen as aimed at China -- whose rise has been the overriding priority of US President Joe Biden’s administration. French President Emmanuel Macron, who has stayed subdued publicly, is set to speak to Biden in the coming days.