OTAN : le retour du fils prodigue ?

PARIS – Peu de visites d'Etat ont des résultats durables. Celle que Nicolas Sarkozy vient d'effectuer à Washington pourrait constituer une exception, car le président français s'apprête peut-être à offrir un cadeau inestimable à l'OTAN à l'occasion de son 60° anniversaire au printemps 2009 : le retour de la France au sein du commandement intégré de l'organisation, dont elle s'était retirée en 1966 à l'initiative du général De Gaulle.

Rétrospectivement, la décision de De Gaulle s'est révélée plus préjudiciable à la France qu'à l'Alliance. En se retirant du commandement intégré de l'OTAN, la France s'est exclue d'elle-même du processus de décision politique en son sein pour devenir son "harki", à l'image des soldats algériens qui ont servi dans l'armée française pendant la guerre d'Algérie, de bons soldats, mais guère récompensé pour leur engagement.

Ce scénario du retour de la France au sein de l'OTAN est-il réaliste ? Historiquement, les tentatives avortées et les faux pas abondent des deux cotés. Le dernier en date étant la tentative de Jacques Chirac d'améliorer les relations avec l'OTAN lors de son arrivée au pouvoir en 1995. Cette fois-ci non plus le succès n'est pas garanti, mais la probabilité de réussite est bien meilleure, car la France, les USA et le monde ont changé.

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