Pas de deux: Trump and Macron at the Élysée Palace, Paris, July 2017 

Despite the upbeat characterization of France as the United States’ oldest ally—from the Marquis de Lafayette’s help in the American Revolution to France’s gift of the Statue of Liberty and up through the shared fight in two world wars—the U.S.-French relationship has always been complicated. During the Cold War, French President Charles de Gaulle sided with the United States when it mattered, as during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. But he also clashed with U.S. leaders as he sought to assert French autonomy within NATO and position his country outside the U.S.-Soviet

This article is part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, you must subscribe.