They say that going to war without the French is like going hunting without an accordion. Unfortunately, France is Obama’s only real European ally at this point.
Even more unfortunately, France isn’t uh good for very much.
After the UK dropped out, France’s pint-sized Socialist leader, Francois Hollande, whose victory was a triumph for Muslim political power and leftist lunacy, announced that France would go it alone.
When Obama conceded that he would seek Congressional approval, France was no longer willing to go it alone, because Francois can only fight until the last American.
“Our oldest ally, the French,” as John French Kerry put it, have a bit of a minor problem when it comes to bombing Syria. They don’t have the ship-based missiles to bomb them with.
As a Mediterranean power, France already has military ships in the region, and could provide backup to U.S. aircraft carriers. But unlike the U.S., France has no ship-based missiles; those won’t arrive until next year.
Well no problem. Let’s just wait till next year.
So any action from France would come from the air, in the form of long-range Scalp missiles, similar to those the nation used in Kosovo in 1999, and in Libya in 2011. The biggest risk to French forces is Syria’s crack Russian-made air-defense systems, which could be capable of shooting down aircraft.
So if France goes in, the US will likely be dragged in to provide air support and ground air defense suppression, resulting in another No Fly Zone, because of our oldest ally.
But wait. Like Obama and Cameron, Hollande drastically cut the French military to the bone. So…
France has announced deep military cuts. While it might have dozens of Scalp missiles in stock, analysts say that the high expense of replacing them makes precise targeting extremely important, to ensure that none are wasted.
“Hollande and Obama suffer from the same thing: they come up with big ideas, but don’t come up with the budgets,” says Robbin Laird, a U.S. military consultant, speaking from Washington, D.C.
“Where is the cash? Both are cutting their militaries precipitously.”
Sadly Hollande’s 75 percent tax on the rich didn’t work out. So the ship-based missiles arrive next year. And the French no longer seem enthusiastic about the brand new Socialist war.
An opinion poll released on Friday showed that 64% of French rejected any military action in Syria.
While the French parliament has scheduled an emergency meeting on Syria on Wednesday, Hollande is unlikely to seek its approval before joining a U.S.-led mission.
In fact, analysts believe Hollande cares less about public opinion about Syria, than his own miserable ratings, which hover around 20%. Despite widespread opposition to bombing Syria, some believe it could nonetheless help Hollande, as it would present him as being in close alliance with Obama in a crucial international conflict.
So Hollande, who is slightly less popular than rotten cheese, needs this war to bail out his approval ratings. And he needs photo ops with Obama, who, like Jerry Lewis, is apparently more popular in France than he is in America.
And the French Conservative opposition would like Hollande to give up the Napoleonic posturing and follow Cameron and Obama’s lead in putting this war up to a vote.
Francois Fillon, France’s ex-prime minister and leading figure in the opposition UMP party, said Sunday that parliament should vote on the issue, telling the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, “In the current circumstances, France cannot go to war without the clear support of parliament.”
Or the ship-based missiles it doesn’t have.