done to Anglo-American relations by the Suez crisis was quickly
repaired but, in the case of France, the situation was more complex.
The Alliance, in being for more than ten years, had inevitably changed.
Europe had grown both economically and militarily more powerful
and was now less dependent on the United States. The Soviet Union
had substantially improved its nuclear capability, underlined by
the launch of the Sputnik. Thus not all Europeans were reassured
by a US nuclear umbrella that depended on a concept of massive retaliation
which foresaw the early use of nuclear weapons in response to aggression.
light of such developments as these, France had expressed reservations
about the direction of Allied policy and, following his election
as President in 1958, General de Gaulle, in particular, made clear
his dissatisfaction with aspects of the US leadership role, as well
as, more specifically, with NATO's nuclear policy and integrated
In 1966, France announces that it will no longer assign its forces
to NATO and that it will withdraw from the integrated military structure
with the consequence that Allied forces and military headquarters
must leave the country. This should be completed by 1 April 1967.