Friday, January 20, 2012
Le Monde has a long article about the decisions made by the New York prosecution team in the DSK affair. Apparently there were dissensions within the team about how to proceed--not surprising in such a high-profile case. Marion Van Renterghem also relays insinuations from DSK's lawyers and publicists that a "highly placed" French authority intervened in the case by informing the NYC prosecutor of previous misbehavior by DSK, "perhaps" the Banon or Carlton affairs. None of this adds to our understanding of what happened at the Sofitel, though it does suggest that, had the prosecution been handled differently, the case might have taken a different course.
Nicolas Sarkozy has announced a suspension of training and combat operations by French troops in Afghanistan and is considering an early withdrawal. This decision comes after the deaths of four French troops last week, and also after criticism of François Hollande for saying that he would withdraw French troops if elected. The war is very unpopular in France, but this is the first sign that Sarkozy is wavering in his commitment, and I must say, it has a look of desperation about it. On the other hand, if you read the report below, it seems possible that Sarkozy is simply drawing the conclusion that foreign forces have no further business in Afghanistan and can do no good by staying.
“Lethal altercations are clearly not rare or isolated; they reflect a rapidly growing systemic homicide threat (a magnitude of which may be unprecedented between ‘allies’ in modern military history),” it said. Official NATO pronouncements to the contrary “seem disingenuous, if not profoundly intellectually dishonest,” said the report, and it played down the role of Taliban infiltrators in the killings.
Afghanistan : Nicolas Sarkozy envisage la possibilité d'un retour anticipé des troupes françaises
Après l'annonce vendredi de la mort de quatre soldats français, le président de la République estime que la question d'un retour anticipé des troupes françaises est posée. Les opérations de formation et d'aide au combat de l'armée française sont d'ores et déjà suspendues. (AFP.)