Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pretending to Be an Ally

I'm sure that you were all excited about France rejoining NATO's military arm last year after formally pulling out in 1966 (although secretly, they'd fight with NATO in case of war). Recent talk has been of Russia buying French amphibous warships, which would have been especially useful for Russia's Black Sea fleet given inadequacies demonstrated in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. We protested especially over this arming of a potential foe of a potential NATO member.

Well, newly ally-like France has taken care of that problem!

A Mistral-class ship is capable of transporting and deploying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, up to 70 armored vehicles including 13 battle tanks, and 450 personnel.

The Russian military has said it plans to use Mistral ships in its Northern and Pacific fleets.

See? Russia pretends that it won't deploy them in the Black Sea! And France pretends to believe them! Now that's nuanced foreign policy!

Plans change, eh? Have no doubt, at least one of those Mistrals will be based in the Black Sea, and France won't say a word about it.

UPDATE: Background on the Mistral class and the deal.