France to leave Afghanistan soon

May 29th - 2012 President François Hollande wants the French force in Afghanistan to come home by the end of this year leaving just a residual force to help train local army and police. His announcement has prompted some criticism from NATO members who plan to wind down combat operations next year and withdraw NATO forces by the end of 2014. Will France change NATO's overall strategy in Afghanistan? Is France's initiative likely to affect the Harper government's decision to leave Afghanistan by March 2014?


Our expert Frédéric Mérand, University of Montréal, asks: "French socialists now accept NATO but want out of Afghanistan: is training of Afghan forces  the solution?" He is available for comments May 29th and May 30th by appointment.


Frédéric Mérand is Professor of Political Science at the University of Montréal and Professor of European Studies at LUISS University in Rome. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a policy advisor in the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and a Research Fellow at the San Diego-based Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Mérand has published on the European Security and Defence Policy, EU-NATO relations, transatlantic relations, Canadian foreign policy, and the sociology of international relations. Media Experience: Dr. Mérand has a great deal of experience responding to TV, Radio and Print Media inquiries.