In the 1960s, many US policy makers perceived French President Charles de Gaulle’s foreign policy, which sought to position France as a third force, independent of the United States and the Soviet Union, as a source of frustration. His pursuit of “grandeur,” “rank,” independence, and maneuverability, followed by subsequent French presidents, often led to friction between France and the United States. This proved to be particularly true with regard to issues and policies concerning the Middle East.2 Although the French role in the Middle East may not be as extensive as it once was, France remains an influential power in the region.