Of course, there would be lots of factors to take into consideration. Like the personal relations between the French President and the US and Russian ones, for example. Washington's willingness to commit forces in that conflict, and the reasons and exact circumstances of said conflict. My reasoning is based on the premise of a Soviet/Russian offensive in Western Europe.Perhaps. Or perhaps the Soviets would go out of their way to avoid directly antagonizing France. Much like Italy. A sort of 'Leave them alone and see what they do' attitude. If we accept that the resulting situation would be the one you postulate (attacked with Allies vs attacked without), then one must ask the question of timing.
But to Stalin, Nazism was the last form of degerenate capitalism, and hence he expected a lot of gains for Russia if Nazism and Social-Democracies woere each other out in a repetition of WW1. Plus, he was aware that democratic nations would have loved to see Germany turn against the USSR, so he had to make that option disappear. And finally, the USSR and Nazi Germany had some common interests - such as the partition of Poland.In 1939 the Soviet Union's leadership saw the writing on the wall re: Germany. It still chose to reach an accomodation with such a terrible foe in the hopes of buying more time to prepare for the looming conflict. This went so far that Stalin was desperately ordering the Western Military District to avoid engaging the invading Germans for fear of 'provoking them'. It sounds absurd, but immediate concerns of survival often preclude rational analysis of long term prospectives.
NATO (and French) policy about nuclear weapons has mostly been of a last-resource use.The French government of the time would have likely reached the same conclusion. Nuclear war is a zero-sum game - and as soon as it becomes apparent that one belligerent is ready to use any sort of nuclear weapon, they all become terrifyingly real military options. For NATO's part, as far as I am aware, they had a first strike policy for most of the Cold War.
A negative incentive ? Not sure it would work.Not being drawn into a nuclear war?
Well, I was playing on both meanings of the word "raisonnable" in French.We use different definitions of 'reasonable', then, heh. Mine is more along the lines of 'France could - within reason - affect such a stance'.
I agree. But I don't think such a decision could be made on an emotional basis only. Presidents have ministers and advisers and general officers to help them go beyond emotion. And emotion can also go both ways, because obviously NATO leaders would also appeal to them, and remind that hypothetical French President France's word has been given in 1949 with just this kind of agression in mind, the German chancellor would ask if his closest European ally will come defend both their countries and Europe, etc. So I am assuming that emotional appeals from both sides will cancel each other, leaving the way open for rational thought.You place much emphasis on the rational analysis of the situation by individuals with long term mindsets who cannot be assailed through appeals to their emotional selves.