A phone call took place between Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday paving the way for reconciliation between the two countries. The call lasted for 30 minutes and by the end, both men agreed to find a path forward. France agreed to send its ambassador back to the U.S.
Yanking an ambassador during a squabble between two countries is meant as an attention-getting move, a show of anger over some perceived slight. In this case, we are hard-pressed to find another time when France recalled its ambassador from the U.S. France is America’s oldest ally and the relationship has remained unbroken through the years. That is until Joe Biden went behind Macron’s back and made a deal referred to as AUKUS. The defense pact between the U.S., U.K., and Australia cost France a submarine contract worth billions of dollars. Team Biden didn’t even bother to inform the French team working on a deal with France about the new alliance until hours before it was signed and announced on September 15.
Macron called the French ambassador back to France in a show of anger over the betrayal. A reception hosted by the French ambassador marking the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Chesapeake was canceled. That battle was a naval victory for the French over a British fleet during the American Revolution. Biden has been begging for a phone call with Macron ever since. Perhaps Macron thought that leaving Biden hanging for a week was long enough.
Biden admitted that the situation would have benefitted from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners. Biden agreed to open consultations in the future. Unfortunately, Biden has proven to be an unreliable international partner on the world stage, so France should proceed accordingly. Biden’s word isn’t worth much these days, it will take time for him to rebuild relationships he has severed by his impulsive and irrational decision-making on the world stage. All we have to do is look at the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan to see how Biden chooses to go it alone and not consult with our allies in NATO.
Remember when Biden ran for president and his big claim was that he’s a foreign policy expert who has solid relationships with world leaders? Biden campaigned on re-establishing goodwill between the U.S. and our NATO allies in particular. He and Democrats liked to claim that Trump’s America First doctrine was harmful and that Trump was like a bull in a china shop when dealing with the international leaders. As usual, the thing that Democrats accuse a Republican president of is the very thing the Democrat president is doing. Democrats are masters at gaslighting. Biden was laughed at for being a bumbling, feeble old man at the G7 conference in England last summer when Macron slapped him on the back and welcomed him into the fold. That was a premature welcome, as it turns out, and Macron found out the hard way that Biden is not a man of his word.
The statement released by the White House says that Biden acknowledges the importance of French engagement in the Indo-Pacific region. Sure, Biden acknowledges it but the Big Guy always gets 10%.
The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives. They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process. President Emmanuel Macron has decided that the French Ambassador will return to Washington next week. He will then start intensive work with senior US officials.
President Biden reaffirms the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the framework of the European Union’s recently published strategy for the Indo-Pacific. The United States also recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO.
In the framework of their joint fight against terrorism, the United States commits to reinforcing its support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states.
Ambassador Philippe Etienne will return next week. A meeting is being scheduled for Biden and Macron during the Group of 20 Summit in Rome in late October.
It will be interesting to see how welcome Biden is this time around in the club. Biden has been busy destroying a unified front among allies as they deal with shared challenges, like handling the increasing threats from China on economic and military fronts. Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan was deadly and caught European allies off guard. Biden has a lot of work to do. No one, at this point should think that he is up to the task. Biden left behind Americans and Afghan helpers in Afghanistan to fend for themselves. He’s doing the same to European allies on the world stage.
Some leaders have been encouraging Biden and Macron to repair the diplomatic kerfuffle. Bumbling Joe is being taken to task for his actions.
Other leaders have pressed the two allies to end the rift and move forward. On Wednesday, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called on allies not to deepen rifts among western countries, although she didn’t specifically mention France.
“I think it’s important to say—given the talks going on in Europe right now—that I see Biden as very loyal to the trans-Atlantic alliance,” she said in an interview with Danish daily Politiken from New York. “And in general, we should not turn concrete challenges, which will always exist between allies, into something they should not be. I would very much warn against this,” she added.
During a visit to Washington this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also without mentioning France specifically, suggested that “some of our dearest friends in the world…donnez-moi un break”—“give me a break” in a mix of French and English.
So much for all that experience on the world stage for the last 50 years, right, Joe? Between Biden’s fading mental abilities and the dangerous incompetence of the State Department, it’s going to be a bumpy three and a half more years.