Wednesday 10 May 2023

France: always hanging back, always wanting to share the credit

A first today - a French Air Force recce aircraft over the Black Sea!  There have been non-stop US, UK, Italian, even Polish, Swedish and Finnish recce flights in support of Ukraine, but this is the first (openly detectable) French one.

Now, given that they have had the capability all along, why would this be?  It's the usual French thing.  Not us, gov, we're not like those warmongering Yanks and Brits, we're not feeding this conflict by providing one side with intelligence (actually, we don't have any), we're not helpfully wargaming strategies with one of the protagonists: we're responsible peace-loving people, neutral, here to negotiate like statesmen!  We'll talk Putin round, we'll get Xi onside ...

Oh, what's that? - the big Ukrainian counter-offensive push is on for next week?  OK, we're in, we're in!  They couldn't do it without us!  A seat at the Top Table for us!

Running with the hares, hunting with the hounds, or what?   Or perhaps the playground coward, rushing in to kick the guy who's already down on the floor.  Ho hum, better late than never.



dearieme said...

Remember that de Gaulle wrote a history of the French Army that didn't mention Waterloo.

Nick Drew said...

In the military museum at Les Invalides, there's a very small section on the 7 Years War. The final caption reads:

There were no decisive battles in this conflict. The end result was that France lost almost all its colonies.

Anonymous said...

The UN Security Council permanent members.


At least two on that list shouldn’t be there.

djm said...

Inferring the Roosians are about to "lose" in this conflict ?

*Stunning & Brave*

Nick Drew said...

Russia can't lose, in a military sense

Putin can lose, in a political sense

Caeser Hēméra said...

It's a very Gallic spin on the phrase "Never start a fight, but always finish one"

dustybloke said...

I feel a Dunkirk moment coming on 🙀

Nick Drew said...

a very apt comment, DB

Putin thinks that's the worst that can happen to him: forced to withdraw, only to come pouring back a few years later

the whole game, as I've written before, is how to bolster Ukraine (whatever that looks like by Xmas 2023) against Round 2 several years hence. Ukraine wants that to be Article 5. I can't see that happening

BTW, whatever works for Ukraine might be whatever is planned for / by Taiwan ... "porcupine / hedgehog" is the rather unimaginative strategy

Wildgoose said...

In response to the (US backed) Ukraine coup in 2014 the traditionally ethnically and linguistically Russian Donbass declared independence and hasn't been fully controlled by Ukraine ever since.

That independence was finally recognised last year by Russia. It turns out (as Merkel admitted) that the political peace negotiations they were having with the West were a complete sham.

Last year Russia formally admitted the Donbass into the Russian federation.

Russian troops are fighting in what is legally Russia against Ukrainian (often neo-Nazi) attackers.

Considering the death toll in this conflict, civilian deaths have been minimal. (Unlike for example when the US attacked Iraq).

The biggest political threat is that Putin's moderation will be replaced by someone who really wants to take the gloves off.

Anonymous said...

" legally Russia"


Er, no. It takes just a little bit more than UDI + a landgrab.

Don Cox said...

Legally under whose laws ?


Anonymous said...

Josip Borrell of the EU apparatus made the pertinent point yesterday that without the support of EU nations Ukraine would have to surrender in a few days.

The state is being kept alive, their young men are being killed off at a rapid rate if the many, many flags in the cemeteries are any guide.

Zelensky was elected on a platform of "improving" relations with Russia, and immediately upped attacks on the DPR and LPR.

I fail to understand why ND is so gung-ho about escalating this conflict, which has the potential to start a nuclear exchange, and in which Russia have been driven into the arms of China. Does he know something I don't?

Is the idea of escalation, with longer and longer-range missiles, to make Russian security only possible by conquering the entire territory including Galicia and creating Afghanistan 2.0 for them? Rational, if evil.

Anonymous said...

PS - I was up North the other day and saw a hotel full of Ukrainian families, including a surprisingly large number of military age men. I was pleased to see that some chaps would survive the war - but then I wondered if those men were doing training at Catterick.

Anonymous said...

I've said before, the old rules on airspace, on where "space" begins, and on territorial waters, weren't made for a world where Ukraine/NATO GHQ are made aware immediately a plane takes off well inside Russia, and can monitor battlefields from well outside 12 miles or whatever the current limit be. I can see trouble ahead when the first US satellite or spyplane gets blinded by lasers or microwaves.

(Generally enjoy a poke at les grenouilles as much as the next man, but France's record of not following the US into destructive wars has been a damn sight better than the UKs lately)

Anonymous said...

@ France's record of not following the US into destructive wars

But right now, according to ND they are piling in!

Anonymous said...

" It takes just a little bit more than UDI + a landgrab."

I think I'd ask the Serbs about that in relation to Kosovo.

Of course they did have the "rules-based international order" immediately bombing their power stations and water treatment works to concentrate their minds until they cried pax.

We've all forgotten that - or to be precise we're never reminded of it by our controlled media - but in Russia and Serbia it's not forgotten.

hovis said...

Is this the delayed and much trumpeted Ukrainian offensive, will this be the one to retake ethnically Russian Crimea and 'cleanse' it ?

The US/UK have bet the house for no logical reason on supporting Ukraine, and in the UK's case nudged the structurally weak economy onto it's downward spiral, by seeing that the sanctions harm us rather than anyone else.

Can't see Putin losing in any form to a pro-western political force in Russia. I also see that the head of Ukrainian intelligence has vowed to kill Russian 'wherever they are'. So we are supporting a state that will kill because of ethnicity rather than being combatant.
So you can't divorce yourself from the state that claims to own you. What delightfully fascist notion. No doubt something the brainless apes in the LibLabCon War party will find extremely arousing.

The only good outcome is to stop the killing - a negotiated peace on approximate territory now - realistic and workable, however most warmongers would rather someone else's teenage child or grandfather is sent to die in utter futility. They never go themselves.

dearieme said...

"immediately bombing their power stations and water treatment works "

Aye, and buses full of women on their way to market.
Slick Willie's Wonderful War.