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September 17, 2021

Secret Talks and a Hidden Agenda: Behind the U.S. Defense Deal That France Called a ‘Betrayal’

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: The New York Times

Journalist David E. Sanger

In the end, Mr. Biden’s decision was the result of a brutal calculus that nations sometimes make in which one ally is determined to be more strategically vital than another — something national leaders and diplomats never like to admit to in public. And it was a sign that as Mr. Biden begins to execute what the Obama administration, 12 years ago, called the “pivot to Asia,” there is the risk of stepping on political land mines as old, traditional allies in Europe feel left behind.

“As much as the pivot has been described as pivoting to Asia without pivoting away from someplace else, that is just not possible,” Richard Fontaine, the chief executive of the Center for a New American Security, who has long ties to both the Australian and American players in the deal, announced on Wednesday. “Military resources are finite. Doing more in one area means doing less in others.”

It also apparently means hiding negotiations from some of your closest allies.

Read the full article and more from The New York Times.


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...