The Blog

Kerry's Phony Foreign Forces

Would President Kerry be able to get France to help share the burden in Iraq? Chirac says, "Non!"

2:00 PM, Sep 22, 2004 • By GARY SCHMITT
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

ON MONDAY, in Brussels, Republican strategist Charles Black debated Kerry campaign adviser and fundraiser R. Scott Pastrick on the implications for Europe of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections. As reported from Europe, Pastrick stated that a Kerry administration would be "culturally sensitive" to European concerns and that the candidate himself had a "natural tendency to march with Europe." Of that point, we have no doubt.

But "march with Europe" in which direction? John Kerry has accused President Bush of living in a "fantasy world" on Iraq. But Kerry claimed in his recent, much-touted "plan" for Iraq that, if elected, he would reduce American troop levels in Iraq by replacing them with troops from France and Germany. Who lives in a "fantasy world"? If Kerry indeed knows anything about Europe, he knows there isn't the smallest chance that these countries will provide troops, not even to their friend John Kerry. Anyone familiar with the state of German forces knows that Germany cannot and will not send troops to Iraq. The Germans are already hard pressed to keep a few thousand troops in Afghanistan. They are not going to deploy significant new numbers to Iraq even if they wanted to--which they emphatically don't.

As for Paris, well, French president Jacques Chirac made it quite clear on Monday, while in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, that Kerry's possible victory in November would have no impact on France's decision to stay out of Iraq: "French policy with regard to Iraq has not changed and will not change." ("La politique francaise a l'egard de l'Irak n'a pas change et ne changera pas.")

So, yes, it is true that Kerry will have a "tendency to march with Europe." He will march right out of Iraq, leaving behind chaos and a new terrorist base in the Middle East. In the meantime, he is deceiving the American people by promising French and German help which he knows will never come.

Gary Schmitt is executive director of The Project for the New American Century.

Previous Campaign Memos:

Nothing To Do With the Truth, John Kerry continues to insist that Saddam Hussein had "nothing to do with al Qaeda." And he continues to be wrong. September 22, 2004

Lugar's Other Comments, The media played up Richard Lugar's recent remarks about President Bush; will they do the same with his assessment of Senator Kerry? September 21, 2004

For Kerry, It's Always Vietnam, The subtext of John Kerry's Monday morning Iraq speech. September 20, 2004

Kerry's Flip-Flopping on Russia, The senator has two views on promoting democracy in Russia, too. September 16, 2004

Wrong Choices, A look at John Kerry's record. September 15, 2004

Another New Kerry Position on Iraq . . . and the same one on Vietnam. September 15, 2004

Kerry and the "Direct Link," The Kerry campaign is distorting Dick Cheney's words. September 13, 2004

Kerry's North Korea Non-policy, John Kerry calls the New York Times with complaints, but no plan. September 13, 2004

If John Kerry Were President, . . . Saddam would still be in power. September 8, 2004

Kerry vs. Kerry, What does "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time" mean? September 7, 2004

The Kerry Record, What John Kerry about foreign policy and defense in 1984 and 1985. September 3, 2004

It Was This Big . . ., Does John Kerry still believe that the terror threat is an "exaggeration"? September 1, 2004

John Edwards: Disrespecting Our Allies, America isn't acting alone. September 1, 2004

No Bargain, The "grand bargain" John Kerry and John Edwards are prepared to offer Iran deserves serious scrutiny. September 1, 2004