For the eight decades following the end of World War II, French diplomacy has sought to strike an enduring balance between solidarity with a NATO alliance that guaranteed security of the country, and a certain distancing from the US that demonstrated to the world at large, and to itself, la Grandeur de la France.

The nation's friends and allies have traditionally regarded this altogether French style of foreign policy with understanding coupled with a certain amount of irony.

But surely no one could have predicted during those 80 years that there would come a time in world history when a very real “la Grandeur de la France” would not only become necessary, but whose existence or absence might shape the fate of mankind.

The enemies of Freedom and the forces of absolute evil were quite deliberate when they chose their moments to attack Ukraine and Israel. Their objectives – the destruction of both nations – have never been a secret. They followed domestic US political events with close attention and witnessed two cancerous tumors develop and metastasize – one from the right (Trumpism) and one from the left (the Progressives). These tumors have eaten away at the traditional center within US politics and undermined the country's ability to fulfill its role as Leader of the Free World.

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As we all know, Russia has faltered and fallen twice before in a matter of days, during both Tsarist and Soviet times. But what about the US? President Joe Biden has always considered himself, at least on a rhetorical level, the Leader of the Free World (a title neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump claimed). But during his three years in office the world has watched him falter and fall completely in fulfilling this role, leaving behind a major hole in the system for international security.

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OSCE condemned it as "a grave violation of participating states' commitments under international law" and called for the immediate release of Vadym Golda and two other jailed OSCE officials.

The Trumpists in Congress have held up aid to Ukraine for almost six months.  Chances are high that a fanboy of Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon occupy the Oval Office. And this particular fanboy will not hide his disdain for both Ukraine and US allies in Europe.

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As 1938 dawned yet again with its gloom and its dread, this time for an embattled Ukraine and those who considered themselves part of the Free World, a glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon. French President Emmanuel Macron took stock of the unprecedented threat looming over the nation and presented a series of crucial propositions to the world at large. In our last article, we categorized these propositions as the Macron Doctrine:

  • France will do all in its power to defeat Russia in its war with Ukraine
  • France and some of its allies are willing to send troops to Ukraine
  • French (and British) military experts are already in Ukraine servicing and maintaining the "Storm Shadow" and "Scalp" missile systems
  • France has no intention of further aiding the enemy by imposing any kind of red lines on itself which might restrict support for an embattled Ukraine
  • The dictator is trying to intimidate France with threats of nuclear strikes. To that I say, France also has nuclear weapons.

Macron was thus able to strike a serious psychological and political blow on Putin without yet deploying a single French soldier or delivering a single French aircraft to Ukraine. He deprived the aggressor of his most effective tool in his illicit war – the ability to suppress the West's political will by forcing it to establish these notorious red lines.

Macron's rhetoric stands out all the more when compared with the US national security advisor's visit to Kyiv which took place at roughly the same time.

Jake Sullivan arrived at an extremely difficult time for Ukraine, deprived as it was of US military aid. And then he had the gall to make an outrageous demand of the Ukrainians – stop striking Russian oil refineries. Yes, Grandpa Biden's advisor was actually advocating for more fuel so that Russian aircraft could continue to rain death upon Ukrainian cities. Why? Because this is what Grandpa needs for his re-election campaign.

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But let's get back to the Macron Doctrine. How valuable a political victory this proves to be can best be measured using one criterion – the potential for it to achieve victory on the battlefield. In this specific case, how possible it is for Macron's announced objectives to result in defeat for Russia. We do not have a contact inside the French General Staff but we can share our view on how this goal can be reached. 

How the Macron Doctrine could lead to Russian defeat

Let's start with a few observations concerning the fundamental nature of the Russia-Ukraine war. What we have are two different wars overlapping one other. The first one is a classic war of attrition waged on a nearly 1,000-kilometer line of contact between the two sides. In this war, Russia theoretically has the advantage thanks to a larger mobilization base and the traditionally low value Russian society places on an individual human life. 

But the Russian military machine has one acute vulnerability – the Crimean peninsula.  The clash over Crimea represents, as 19th century Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz would put it, the psychological center of gravity in the whole Russia-Ukraine war. And here, in this second component of the war, Ukraine clearly has the upper hand. The nation was able, without a navy to speak of or a modern air force, to toss Russia's Black Sea Fleet right out of Sevastopol and continues to eliminate Russian military facilities throughout the peninsula.

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The five points contained within the Macron Doctrine, outlined above, are quite interrelated. Taken together, they provide the following scenario for a decisive defeat of the Russian Federation.

The Coalition of the Willing (France, Great Britain, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Romania, Canada, the Netherlands) will refuse to adhere to any ridiculous red lines imposed on them at US insistence, particularly a requirement that all Western aircraft supplied to Ukraine be flown only by pilots with Ukrainian passports.

This requirement has been truly ruinous for Ukraine as it has already prolonged a devastating war for at least a year. If Ukraine were to keep blindly adhering to it, the best-case scenario would be receipt of 30-40 different airplanes with 30-40 different specifications – not exactly the game changer needed to win war. What Ukraine really needs to turn the tide in its favor are 150-200 aircraft comprising entire squadrons of Mirages from France, Typhoons from the UK, Gripens from Sweden

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These aircraft are able to integrate the "Storm Shadow" and "Scalp" systems much more efficiently and no restrictions should be placed on their range.

That's how we envision the Macron Doctrine being put into practice. The air armada would immediately instate a de facto no-fly zone over Ukraine and then quickly drive out the entire Russian alignment of forces from Crimea. The Ukrainian flag flying over Sevastopol would then signify Russia's defeat along with the death, at least political, of the bloodsucker in the Kremlin.

When the French and the British took Sevastopol on Sept. 9, 1855, that Crimean War ended in precisely the same way. It's just that Nicholas I, the tsar who initiated the conflict, had had the sense to die six months earlier. 

The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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