Kehrt der verlorene Sohn der NATO zurück?

PARIS – Wenige Staatsbesuche zeitigen bleibender Ergebnisse. Nicolas Sarkozys gerade abgeschlossene Reise nach Washington könnte eine Ausnahme sein, weil der französische Präsident sich möglicherweise vorbereitet, der NATO zum 60. Geburtstag im Frühjahr 2009 ein hoch geschätztes Geschenk zu machen: Frankreichs Rückkehr in die integrierte Militärstruktur der NATO, aus der es unter Charles de Gaulle 1966 ausschied.

Im Rückblick hat sich de Gaulles Entscheidung als sehr viel schädlicher für Frankreich erwiesen als für das Bündnis. Durch sein Ausscheiden aus dem integrierten Militärkommando der NATO schloss sich Frankreich von der politischen Entscheidungsfindung innerhalb des Bündnisses aus und wurde damit zu einem Äquivalent der „Harkis“ – der örtlichen Soldaten, die während des Algerienkrieges in der französischen Armee dienten: gute Soldaten, die aber für ihre Dienste so gut wie keine Belohnung erhielten.

Wie realistisch ist ein mögliches Szenario der Rückkehr Frankreichs in den militärischen Schoß der NATO? Historisch betrachtet ist die Beziehung zwischen Frankreich und der NATO beiderseits von zahllosen abgebrochenen Schritten und faux pas gekennzeichnet. Der Letzte davon war der gescheiterte Versuch Jacques Chiracs, Frankreichs Verhältnis zur NATO nach seinem Amtsantritt 1995 zu flicken. Auch diesmal ist der Erfolg nicht garantiert, doch die Chancen sind sehr viel größer, weil sich Frankreich, die USA und die Welt insgesamt verändert haben.

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