With US Out, Is France Looking to Move Into Iraq?

Ambassador Offers Help to Curb 'Unrest'

It hasn’t been all that long since the last of US troops left Iraq and already another nation, France, is showing some designs on their own presence in Baghdad.

French Ambassador Denys Gauer raised the issue today in a speech, suggesting his nation was prepared to provide “equipment, training and intelligence” to Iraq’s military in quelling the growing sectarian unrest in their nation. Gauer went on to add that this “of course” included sales of weapons to the Maliki government.

“This is an additional area in which we are totally open to cooperate with the Iraqi authorities, and to meet their needs.” Details of the offer were unclear, though training operations could well involve a French military presence.

It’s quite a shift from 2003, when French officials opposed the invasion of Iraq. Yet the Hollande government is far afield of the Chirac government, and has shown itself eager to engage in military entanglements the world over. Involvement in Iraq would be in keeping with their recent, aggressive foreign policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.