Emmanuel Macron’s Posturing: Ludicrous but Dangerous

Since his initial suggestion on Feb. 26, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly proposed that NATO troops be sent to Ukraine to directly do battle with Russia (cf. SAS 10/24). Fortunately, his proposal has so far been rejected by most other leaders, but that hasn’t stopped him. He boasted in an interview with TF1 on March 14 that France is ready to make any “decisions necessary to prevent Russia’s victory”. Even more outlandishly, he declared there can be “no lasting peace if there is no sovereignty, if there is no return to Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders, including Crimea”.

Apparently, his enthusiasm for war was somewhat dampened after meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Berlin on March 15, in the framework of the “Weimar Triangle”. The gathering was described by The Guardian as “an ostentatious show of unity” between “the newly hawkish French President Emmanuel Macron, and the perennially cautious German Chancellor Olaf Scholz,” at which Poland’s Tusk, “just back from meetings with Joe Biden in Washington, urged all sides to talk less and focus on providing more weapons”. Apparently, given the disagreement over the deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine, the three leaders simply agreed not to mention it.

But they all agreed on the need to increase support for Kyiv, to beef up the defense industry, and to continue the attacks on Russia by other means, although stressing that none of their countries is actually “at war with Russia”. Olaf Scholz, for his part, stated that “We will use the windfall profits from Russian assets frozen in Europe to financially support the purchase of weapons for Ukraine”, a proposition fully supported by Ursula von der Leyen.

Whatever Emmanuel Macron’s personal motives may be in reversing his previous position to become a war-monger (illusions of grandeur, or fear of the loss of France’s prestige in the world, or an attempt to weaken the National Rally ahead of the European elections), his flight forward is wishful thinking. Actually, the recently elected British MP George Galloway provided an apt quip: “Macron has lost his mind. There can be no other explanation for the leader of a state whupped by Burkina Faso declaring a state of war with Russia.”

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