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Friday, March 21, 2008

Sarko points to Iran as security risk; pledges to reduce French nuclear warheads

France's Sarkozy Reaffirms Nuclear Deterrence, Warns Iran
President Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed France's commitment to a strategy of nuclear deterrence, saying that countries in the Middle East and Asia are developing missiles that pose a threat to Europe.

"Everyone must be aware today that powerful nuclear missiles can reach Europe in less than half an hour," Sarkozy said in the Channel port of Cherbourg on a visit to France's latest and fourth nuclear-powered submarine, Le Terrible.

"I am thinking in particular of Iran," Sarkozy said in a speech to military personnel. "Iran is increasing the range of its missiles, while serious suspicions surround its nuclear program. It is Europe's security that is the issue."
Possibly to counter the Iranian threat, Sarkozy has been paying a lot of attention to the Middle East and Arab countries:

He's currently pushing his "Club Med" idea, i.e., the Union for the Mediterranean. So far it's not flying,
Analysts blame the disappointing results of the process so far partly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also on Mediterranean governments' poor record in using the EU funds on offer.
But his nuclear power deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco are going ahead. As I said last January upon reading the question, "Why should Arab countries be deprived of the energy of the future?"
Why indeed, when they have the mullahs breathing down their necks? Especially if companies that develop and build the nuclear power plants are owned primarily by the French government?
Sarko has already made himself clear when it comes to the Iranian bomb: "No nuclear weapon for Iran, an arsenal of sanctions to convince them, negotiations, discussions, firmness."

Today, however, Sarkozy has pledged to reduce France's number of airborne nuclear weapons by one third:
Mr Sarkozy said the reduction to fewer than 300 missiles would leave France with "half the maximum number of warheads we had during the Cold War".

But he also insisted he was committed to France's nuclear deterrent, saying it was its "life-insurance policy".

He made the comments in a major defence policy speech after inaugurating a new nuclear-armed submarine, the Terrible.
Let's hope the Terrible works better than its name implies, but let's ask one question: Is it a good idea to reduce the nuclear arsenal while trying to prevent the Iranians from starting one?

UDPATE:
Via commenter Pat Patterson,
I forgot to point out that the missiles that Pres. Sarkozy is deactivating are all older models with single warheads. All the rest and the newer models are MIRV with 6 nuclear devices each, 1800 in all. I feel the aura of peace already.
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In other Sarko news, he's dropped the text-message lawsuit; the bling-bling's not going over well.

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11 Comments:

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fausta,

Sarkozy's Club Med initiative caused a major row with Merkel because he did not include other European countries in the proposal. I think it was seen as a play to regain a dominant foreign policy position for France at the expense of an EU common policy. I think Sarkozy is being viewed as a bit of a loose cannon, although official comments are muted.

Just think, about 5 years ago Germans were actually talking about Joshka Fischer becoming the first foreign minister of the EU (he was also talked about as UN Sec Gen). Undoubtedly those who dreamed about this envisioned a counterweight to the crude Bush/Rumsfeld axis. Last I heard Fischer had a blog for Die Zeit and was trying to establish a European Council on Foreign Relations think tank. Eutopia lives, as do the national rivalries.

expat

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger Fausta said...

Fischer's also visiting Princeton this year.

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should reduce their nukes to zero. Do the world a favor at the same time. Pull all friendlys out of Iraq, then when the crazies gather to celebrate get rid of half the nukes. The other half should be used to create another lake of oil in Iran. No need to drill for oil then either. Just pipe it to the tankers.
It's all good especially France with no nukes left.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

Is it a good idea to reduce the nuclear arsenal while trying to prevent the Iranians from starting one?

It's a mixed bag. On the one hand, unilaterally reducing one's nukes will almost certainly be interpreted by the fascists in Tehran as a sign of weakness, just as jihadis everywhere interpret any Western gesture as weakness to be exploited. (Of course, the missile retired might be scheduled to go off-line because of age, and thus be of little real difference.)

On the other hand, barring an effective Iranian anti-missile program, it really only takes one "boomer" sub to incinerate most of Iran in a retaliatory strike. Sarkozy was emphasizing that point by visiting Le Terrible*. 300 nukes is still an effective counterstrike force.

(I won't say "deterrent," however, because the millenarian regime in Tehran actually wants to bring about an apocalypse, so their beloved Mahdi can return.)

*And I love the name of that sub! Just remember the older meaning of "terrible" and it makes perfect sense. :)

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger CW said...

The best way for France to reduce its nuclear arsenal is to air-deliver their excess inventory to Iran. ;-)

CW

 
At 5:21 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

But the new Triomphant-class French subs will by 2010 have the new ballistic missile, the M51, which will have a MIRV warhead and a range of 6,200 miles and is accurate within 100 yards.. Sometimes less is more especially in force multipliers and that the distance between the Bay of Biscay and Tehran is well within the range of France's missiles. While Tehran does not yet have a missile capable of the proven ability to not only fly further than 1,000 miles but of even coming with miles of its target.

 
At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarkozy references Iran when he mentions why they need to keep some weapons, he sounds like a jewish lacky! Israel is more of a threat to countries in the world then any other nation!! They are the only RELIGION to have their own country and are not being held accountable for war crimes against the Palestinians!! The western world seems to be nothing more than puppets of the jewish religion. Maybe because the jews are infiltrating all of these governments and using them for Israels sake regardless of the people of these countries. Look how America allows our children to die in Iraq to protect the terrorist jews!!! The jews are doing to America what they did to Germany in the 30's, use us for their benefit!!!! The jews and Israel own America and our government is selling out the American people for Israel!!!!

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Figures, anonymous! No more special sauce matzohs for you, dude!

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

Speaking of which, my check from the Zionist Conspiracy(tm) hasn't arrived yet. How am I supposed to be a good shill, if I don't get paid?

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

i forgot to point out that the missiles that Pres. Sarkozy is deactivating are all older models with single warheads. All the rest and the newer models are MIRV with 6 nuclear devices each, 1800 in all. I feel the aura of peace already.

 
At 11:48 AM, Blogger Fausta said...

That is a most illuminating detail, Pat. Now I see why Sarko's going for quality over quantity.

Thanks!

 

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