Peggy Hollinger
FT.com
April 8, 2011

Jacques Chirac, the former French president who opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, once said that “war always means failure”. With French forces engaged in three theatres – Afghanistan, Libya and now the Ivory Coast, his successor and one-time adversary, Nicolas Sarkozy, is hoping to prove him wrong.

President Sarkozy this week authorised French troops to take sides in the fierce fighting between Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised winner of last November’s presidential election in the former French colony, and the reluctant outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo.

The military operation is France’s second on the African continent in less than a month, leaving many to wonder whether this signals a new, more interventionist policy to rid the continent of unpalatable dictators.

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