What would Napoleon or Lord Nelson make of this? Britain and France struck a historic defense deal Tuesday aimed at preserving military muscle in an age of austerity, pledging to deploy troops under a single command, share aircraft carriers and collaborate on once fiercely guarded nuclear programs.
Really? They'll share aircraft carriers? This seems rather more realistic:
Some wonder aloud how Sarkozy would react if Britain demands help to defend the Falklands Islands, its territory in the South Atlantic and the subject of a brief war between the U.K. and Argentina in 1982.
"If you, my British friends, have to face a major crisis, could you imagine France simply sitting there, its arms crossed, saying that it's none of our business?" Sarkozy asked during a news conference.
Conservative lawmaker Bernard Jenkin said some in the U.K. fear the answer could be yes. "There is a long track-record of duplicity on the French part," he told the BBC.
France sitting on their hands when an ally needs them? Like during the Iraq War when we asked for their help and they crossed their arms and said it is none of their business? Imagine that.
Given that the French were reported to have told the Serbs about NATO aircraft missions during the 1999 Kosovo War, this is not just traditional scorn being vented.
And how effective would planes from one nation be on the other's carrier? Wouldn't a bi-national carrier simply be less effective than a carrier fully manned by either France or Britain? Isn't this just making each nation's military less effective?
Naturally, our government cheered the news.
In reality, each side will reduce their military and place parts of their remaining military into joint units that are less likely to be deployed than a single-nation unit--making both countries even less effective than they would be on their own.