Is France's 'Germany-Containment' Strategy At Risk?

Tyler Durden's picture


In a little under two minutes, Stratfor provides a succinct primer on 'France'. Its natural (ocean, river, and mountain) geographic 'barrier' borders, its major agricultural industry, and significant social cohesion. But, there is one weakness - the North European Plain - which remains France's main challenge - safe-guarding its north-European border, on the path of a historic invasion route. The most critical existential threat to France has come from its Eastern neighbor Germany and after three significant wars from 1871 to 1945, France attempted to 'contain' Germany largely through economic and political union. The most recent economic and political crisis (and the growing schism between Hollande and Merkel) suggest France's containment-strategy may be in question.

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Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:34 | 2561451 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

that's where the dutch boys come in!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:36 | 2561464 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Paint them into a corner?



Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:45 | 2561502 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



This time is different.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:58 | 2561859 Colombian Gringo
Colombian Gringo's picture

This time the French will welcome the Germans who will no doubt bail them out.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 15:32 | 2562583 Fortunate Fool
Fortunate Fool's picture

The big difference is France is now a Nuclear Power. Its policy for its use is as clear as crystal: the first foreign soldier to step in France territory without authorization will trigger the use of the nuclear power against the aggressor. 


Do you actually believe anyone will ever dare to invade France? If so, look at the attitude of everybody towards North Korea...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:45 | 2561503 Rubicon
Rubicon's picture

They will fart in their general direction.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 15:33 | 2562588 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Fechez la vache !

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:44 | 2561496 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

that's where the dutch boys come in!


SD - you watchin' video transcripts from Sandusky's trial again?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:50 | 2561819 brooklynlou
brooklynlou's picture

I doubt Germany will let France take a shower first ...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 13:19 | 2562160 hansg
hansg's picture

What, you expect us to defend the French from the Germans? With what army, exactly? And why would we defend the French, given that they have invaded us three(?) times while the Germans have only done it once?

Also, haven't the French heard of planes? It's been all the rage in warfare this last century... Worrying about "plains" is so pre-20th century...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:34 | 2561456 Hermann
Hermann's picture

I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell of Germany invading France.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:37 | 2561467 BandGap
BandGap's picture

That's what they said last time.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:44 | 2561494 Hermann
Hermann's picture

well yeah, but there's no point this time. They're in the same boat, both victims of an international cabal

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:03 | 2561579 DogSlime
DogSlime's picture

France didn't have nukes last time.  I imagine that any nation with nukes would most likely use them if the alternative was being overrun by a foreign juggernaut... probably why there is such hysteria over the idea of Iran becoming a nuclear power - it's a lot harder to just roll straight over someone if there's a good chance they'll nuke you for it.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:44 | 2561790 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

nuclear weaponds do NOT give the ability to project power directly and unilaterrally. While they act as a detterant to aggression---they DO give you the power to project SOFT indirect power by funding your enemies' enemies. 

Nuclear weapons are why The united states had to draw a line north of vietnam where they would not attack because they didn't want an escalation with the group funding vietnam with weapons and food---the russians. 


ultimately, having nuclear weapons allows you as a country to have a firm stable footing from the END run of a full frontal assualt. with such a SHIELD in place, you have what ultimately guarantees long term stability against foreign direct aggression. Of course, other countries can fund insurgents and psyops in your country, but the attempts to foment internal revolution are never as threatening as direct warfare. Thus----in the new world we are living in. the Power of Empire and of Aggresion is going to be benchmarked against who you CANNOT afford to bomb directly---which means there is an inevitable race to build up nuclear weapons. 

Iran is pursuing the bomb , everyone knows this. for israel , the fear is that once they get the bomb there will be a radical and long term escalation of lebanese attacks. because even if israel can bomb lebanon every 5 years----the iranians will just keep giving them money and weapons and nothing can be done to stop this. The bombings of lebanon will result in a permanently impoverished state of people who view israel as the enemy , thus setting the stage for a major conflagration one day with lebanon. At some point----a major conflagration must result in the full scale destruction of a City which will leave at least 10,000 to 20,000 dead. and this will be the departure point for international sanctions on israel which will begin the economic crippling of the state----without solid economic footing , the military apparatus begins to crumble. 


the alternative is that Iran is prevented from getting a nuke -----until the country collapses internally or through outright warfare by the U.S. ------and a friendly regime is installed which stops providing weapons and support to hizbollah. 

This seems VERY unlikely because China holds U.S. treasuries and Russia could be crazy enough to start world war iii in the face of persistent unchecked american aggression. 


Iran is not really the problem here however. Nor is Israel for all you zionist Israel Haters out there. Of course, superpowers are more to blame than anyone. Blaming smaller countries makes no sense when the only powers capable of 'stopping' aggression are the bigger ones. The superpowers are the only countries that can alter conflict in any meaningful sense, if at all.

The intractable problem is that low level conflict ---inside smaller countries, and between small countries-----always exists, and by virtue of this----major superpowers will always be taking advantage of it to satisfy their own lust for power. THere is no way out of this trap, and nuclear proliferation is THE tactic defining the post wwii period.

At some point due to nuclear proliferation, a nuclear war MUST happen. lt's just hope it is of limited scope.  I personally believe a nuclear engagement is most likely to happen in the least stable countries with leaders who may be able to rationalize nuclear bombing because they have such large POPULATIONS that they can 'sacrifice' people. ---not iran versus israel, and not north korea versus south korea, but most likely ---pakistan versus india. 

remember a nuclear weapon of low kilotonnage is going to kill most of the people in a city with a radius of 2-3 miles. if done during the day time in a city center. you're going to kill maybe 100,000 people to 3 million people depending on the city. 

pakistan has 180 million people india over a billion. I could see military planners agreeing to go forward with a strike in that situation. 

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 13:31 | 2562197 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Germany will not invade France because they don't have the tank divisions necessary to pull off such an invasion.

Plus they have the US albatross still hanging around their necks making sure that not only do the Russians not invade but that the Huns don't rearm and re-militarize.

"In Germany alone, the United States army has over 50,000 military personnel in over 20 different bases."

Read more: American Military Bases in Germany |
Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:13 | 2561645 czarangelus
czarangelus's picture

*cough* Just like last time

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:21 | 2561685 Matt
Matt's picture

France has Nukes, Germany doesn't. Of course, Hollande does not seem to be quite the same as Chirac, so who knows if the will would be there if needed.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:04 | 2561586 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Germany has no need to invade France.  And while were speculating, let's not forget the last time France was invaded.  England and USA sailed across a very narrow channel.  Another interesting invasion was the one that defeated Napoleon.  Not the much over-hyped battle of Waterloo.  But the coalition led by Russia.  So France has been targeted by various forces.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:15 | 2561660 123dobryden
123dobryden's picture

at the moment there is exactly oposite threat, the frogeater's euros are about to invade saving accounts in germany

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:45 | 2561498 kito
kito's picture

ha ha ha ha...too funny, perhaps they can fight each other with pea shooters.....thanks to their over reliance on the american military, europes armed forces is the most emasculated its ever been. they couldnt even finish off libya without our help...they ran out of bombs for jeeezes sake!!!!! puhlllleeeeaseeeee.............

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:58 | 2561532 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Germany can build war materials and I'm sure the MIC of the US would love to sell materials. In this age of remote controlled drones, even emasculated cultures can go to war.

That said, still not a snowball's chance.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:06 | 2561599 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

But I'm sure the U.S. will be perfectly willing to help both sides of any potential conflict ...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:48 | 2561511 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Did the Capetians ever really go away?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:05 | 2561589 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Correct, France has nukes.  They will never be invaded while they have nukes.  

The real threat faces the other way, toward the non-nuclear armed Germany.  But NATO would have to fall apart first.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:12 | 2561631 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

A real possibility, by the way.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:52 | 2561826 brooklynlou
brooklynlou's picture

Why invade something you'll soon own?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:35 | 2561457 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You mean those pesky Germans are up to no good.....again?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:36 | 2561463 Gypsyducks
Gypsyducks's picture

Before ze Germans get here

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:40 | 2561482 ChubbNut
ChubbNut's picture

Proper fucked.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:52 | 2561528 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The French have repatriated the 'Coneheads' who will successfully defend their motherland this time around...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:52 | 2561531 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Lock Stock and Smoking Merkels...

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:53 | 2561829 12ToothAssassin
12ToothAssassin's picture

Merkel's Snatch

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:41 | 2561486 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

My point and question would be: do people actually pay for this kind of insight?

God, send France a rush copy, they may not know.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:56 | 2561549 Bob
Bob's picture

Lookin' for happiness in all the wrong places, maybe. 

Strongly recommend for you a movie, Happy:

Sounds pretty lame; if it hadn't been the 99 cent special at Vudu over the weekend, I never would have bothered. 

One of the most radical movies I've ever seen . . . and right in your bailiwick, CD.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:36 | 2561460 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

We surrender!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:37 | 2561466 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

 We surrender!


That's the French national anthem, n'est-ce pas?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:55 | 2561541 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

You would not be so unkind to the French if you had ever known one of their women.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:09 | 2561613 RoadKill
RoadKill's picture

Are the wemon the ones with the moustaches or the underarm hair?

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:41 | 2561773 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

Both, usually.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:10 | 2561622 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

I agree. I have spent some long nights down in San Sebastian, best time ever!!

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 11:53 | 2561832 brooklynlou
brooklynlou's picture

Their women are fantastic. Unfortunately they're not running the show.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:38 | 2561469 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Wars and rumors of wars.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:44 | 2561495 Confused
Confused's picture

Funny. German people didn't show any nationalism until the world cup victory. Now all of a sudden I am to believe that they have the desire to go steam rolling through Europe? This is nothing more than fear mongering. Certainly no German citizens want to go to war.



I'm sorry. I keep forgetting. Its never up to the citizens.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 12:11 | 2561932 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

France declared war on Germany in 1870, 1914 and 1939. Britain declared war on Germany 1914 and 1939. Germany declared war on the USA in 1941 AFTER Pearl Harbour

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 12:24 | 2561980 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

+1 and in 1870, the only "German" that was "prepared to go to war" was the Prussian Chancellor Bismark, in 1914 just simply nobody, and 1939 "it was way too early". It just leads to think how history could have been different if the Germans would ever have seriously planned to go to war against France and the UK, instead of looking suspiciously in the direction of Russia.

Which just leads me to think: who is feverishly hoping for some diversion, this time? The EuroTrashing propaganda is reaching the shrieking level. Stratfor seriously discussing France and Germany? This is more then childish and just shows no knowledge of the two countries, at all.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 12:32 | 2561997 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

The EuroTrashing propaganda is reaching the shrieking level. Stratfor seriously discussing France and Germany?

Do you think these divisions are being sown for play? It's not a game man.

This is it. This is all they have left.

Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:38 | 2561472 Bokkenrijder
Bokkenrijder's picture

Is this part of the series "geography for dummies?"

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