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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 220–231 | Cite as

Dealing with the devil: NATO and Gaullist France, 1958–66

  • Christian NuenlistEmail author
Article

Abstract

Charles de Gaulle regarded NATO as a hated symbol of US hegemony. From 1958 to 1966, France incrementally reduced its military and political participation in the Western alliance. This article analyses how ‘NATO Paris’ — the NATO secretary-general, the 15 national ambassadors forming the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in Paris and NATO insiders in allied governments — coped with the Gaullist challenge and tried to find solutions to the French ‘malaise’ and to de Gaulle’s obstructionism. By ‘working around the General’, these NATO players strengthened the cohesion of the ‘NATO 14’ (minus France) and prepared the ground for a multilateral revitalisation of the Western security alliance once de Gaulle finally withdrew France from all military commands and councils in March 1966.

Keywords

France NATO NATO secretary-general NATO ambassadors Charles de Gaulle Paul-Henri Spaak Dirk Stikker Tripartism Berlin Wall Crisis 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aargauer ZeitungAarauSwitzerland

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