Macron’s geopolitical moves: France has a long military and imperial tradition, and it knows how to move in the geopolitical scenario. Paris has ambitions and knows how to act in international relations. In 1966, she left NATO with De Gaulle. He went back with Sarkozy, but Macron, a pro-European like Valéry Giscard Estaing, has understood that the time is ripe for declaring NATO brain dead. France had an academic murdered ruthlessly in Cairo prisons but continued to support and finance Al Sisi. The DGSE, like MI6 or the CIA, certainly does not declare the losses.
The Legion d’honneur is a French award granted to French and foreign politicians, academics, writers, journalists, actors, footballers, designers, etc., considered excellent in their professions. The Legion d’honneur is not conferred for particular human rights commitments indeed it is a doctrine often criticized because it is used instrumentally by the United States to overthrow regimes in South America and the Middle East.
It is unknown what the Biden administration or Obama 3.0 will do in the Middle East. But Biden will need time with a divided country, where he is considered illegitimate president by almost half of the citizens. Now, France has friction with Turkey, Erdogan and Macron threaten each other in words, but Turkey is a historical ally of Germany who has an integrated Turkish-German community. Germany sells arms to Turkey, like France to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The Franco-German axis is strong because both Merkel and Macron have an interest in Russia, and Moscow and Ankara are forced to find agreements, like the Tsarist and Ottoman empires. On the one hand, Germany has an economic partnership with Russia, and it defends the NS2, opposed by the United States with very harsh sanctions. On the other, Macron thinks of Russia as a partner in European defense. Even if Turkey, sanctioned by the US for having bought the Russian defense system, decides to leave NATO, it would make France and Germany happy.
Although German defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had a dispute with Macron about NATO, Wolfgang Münchau, before November 3, wrote that Trump’s victory would have been preferable for European defense, because he would have immediately withdrawn NATO from Europe. Macron is similar to Valery Giscard d’Estaing, a staunch Europeanist, author of Article 50 that allowed Brexit, and opposed a federalist Europe. VGE understood that the UK was not really in Europe. A political-military partnership between the UK and the EU would be better, that is ultimately the result of Brexit.
France also has ambitions in the Middle East and Africa and carries them forward with appropriate alliances under the banner of Realpolitik. After the blast in Bayreuth’s port, Macron has flight to Lebanon to re-affirm the Paris hegemony in its former colony. France has an empire in Africa and fights in Mali with Germans, English, and Italians to defend it. France knows how to do politics: it needs Egypt, a state with 100 million inhabitants and an important army, and Saudi Arabia, which financed Al Sisi’s coup against the Muslim Brotherhood.
Having a vision of its role in the world, it knows that after the Anglo-American withdrawal from the Middle East, Europe may have little chance, as Gideon Rachman wrote in “The Financial Time.” France does not want to be excluded from the Middle East and North Africa. And even Germany, which opened the door to Syrian refugees, while everyone called Merkel an idealist, has a few cards to play.