A Paris-Moscow-Damascus Axis?

On the 27th of November, a meeting of French president Hollande with his Russian counterpart, Putin, took place. This meeting is one in a series of Hollande’s diplomatic marathon meetings. After visiting the UK, US, Germany, and Italy, Hollande comes to Moscow to discuss with Putin a possible co-working against the terrorist groups and its core – ISIS.

Damask as an ally of Paris in the war against terrorism?

"What we agreed, and this is important, is to strike only terrorists and Daesh (Islamic State) and to not strike forces that are fighting terrorism. We will exchange information about whom to hit and whom not to hit," Hollande stated in a joint news conference with Putin. After this, on the 27th of November, France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius declared that troops loyal to Bashar-Assad could be used to fight ISIS. "Troops on the ground cannot be ours, but (there can be) Syrian soldiers from the Free Syrian Army, Sunni Arab states, and why not regime troops," Laurent Fabius said in his interview to RTL radio. This can signal coming changes in the attitude of France towards the official Syrian government.

Geopolitical priorities of France

The creation of an anti-terrorist coalition by Hollande began with meetings with the Atlanticist powers – the UK and US. Then focus was shifted to the pro-Atlantists European Rimland powers (such as Germany and Italy), and finished at the capital of the Continental pole (Russia). Hollande visited 3 geopolitical blocks with different interests. It’s evident that for fighting against terrorism he must choose one of them. Collaborating with two of them at the same time (US/proamerican EU, and Russia) does not seem possible. Russian and American/Atlanticist-EU goals in the fight against terrorism are not at all the same.

France at the brink of a Geopolitical choice

French politics now stands at the point of bifurcation. After meeting with Obama on the one side and Putin on the other, Hollande has to decide, which anti-terrorist pole he will join in his future war against terrorism.