06 March 2008

Franco-African Summit Highlights French Desperation

Because [France] cannot compete economically with the United States, it will rely on political-security levers to reaffirm its geopolitical status. The geopolitical imperative for increased French activity in Africa is this: Once the United States expands control over Middle Eastern governments — and oil supplies — Paris will need to make sure that it is not dependent upon those energy sources and can influence supplies elsewhere. Because of its economic constraints, there are few places other than Africa where France can compete globally. Moreover, a number of African governments — like that in Cameroon or Gabon — continue to rely on French political-security cooperation for their survival.


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