U.S. Spat With France Shows Challenge of Keeping Allies Unified
I want you to put on the secretary of state hat. That many believe people believed you're going to wear. Should hillary clinton have won the two thousand sixteen election. And tell me what you would do if you were sitting on the seventh floor of the state department and this submarine controversy arose. And you might want to recap it for people who didn't listen to talk about it last week. You're on the air with me when the story broke. Yeah in in very short strokes. Australia signed up for france to build diesel electric submarines which are pretty good but over the last week or so they have done a one eighty and signed up with the united states in the united kingdom to build vastly better nuclear powered submarines. The french have lost a multi billion dollar contract. Their outrage what i would have done in retrospect was spend more time speaking with our allies. The french our oldest allies the first nation who came and fought alongside us in the revolutionary war. There are very fond of pointing that out as we subsequently fought a small war with them but such was the nineteenth century at the moment there still very strong allies within nato and so this came across to them as a very bad industrial policy. But also a real stab in the back to an ally. If i were sitting in tony blinken shoes right now and tony by the way. Interestingly is a franco phonic. He speaks beautiful. French lived in france for many years. I think he is and ought to be the point. Man on trying to rebuild this at the moment quite shaky set of relationships. And it's not just france hewitt's it's also with europe. Broadly we see particularly in the wake of brexit as the united kingdom pulls out. We now see france taking a lead in germany in working toward a much more independent eu policy. That'll bleed into our efforts to stand up to china. That's why this is important. I think secretary blinken that ought to be pretty much at the top of his chat list. Right now is working with his counterparts in paris.