Macron initiates dialogue on nuclear weapons
In a keynote speech on the nuclear weapons doctrine, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasised the importance of nuclear deterrence. He called on the European partners to engage in a strategic dialogue and to participate in French military exercises. Commentators disagree on whether Paris can replace Washington as Europe's security guarantee.
Either Trump or Macron
The European states have good reasons to switch their military allegiance from the US to France, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani, President of the Robert Schuman Foundation, in Ouest-France:
“Will they finally see the urgent need to gradually construct a European strategic autonomy that does not betray our alliances, but better protects our interests? Before long there will be no other continental power in Europe as capable as France of contributing to the security of the continent through deterrence. Faced with the growing threats and destabilisation on its borders, Europe needs the nuclear dimension as the ultimate guarantee of its security. So this time the Europeans must decide: Trump or Macron?”
France's arsenal is paltry in comparison
The Tagesspiegel believes that the debate about whether the US defence shield could one day be replaced by a French one for the Europeans is misguided:
“As Macron pointed out in his speech, France currently has fewer than 300 nuclear warheads. The US arsenal comprises more than 6,000. The US also has a stockpile of conventional weapons comparable to that of the other two 'real' superpowers, Russia and China. This is why the Europeans will remain militarily dependent on the US for the foreseeable future. Macron's proposal to conduct a 'strategic dialogue' with interested EU partners on the role of French nuclear deterrence and to hold joint military exercises in this area is more of symbolic nature.”