"For me NATO is a product of the Cold War that has mainly been supported by the United States because the bloc serves to promote Washington's interests," he said.
America's foreign policy goals, he added, were outlined by Zbigniew Brzezinski in mid-1990s. The former US National Security Advisor urged Washington to make every effort to prevent Europe and Russia from forming an alliance since it would be detrimental to America's global leadership.
At a time when Paris has faced an unprecedented surge in high-profile terrorist attacks, it needs to work with those partners who understand the threat that radical groups present and has unrivalled experience of dealing with extremism. In this context, Russia is precisely the country that France needs to promote relations with, General Pinatel, who has been to Russia and is very familiar with Russian history, argued.
"Russia is our best partner in the fight against the Islamist threat," he said. "Today I am even more convinced that this is true even if not everyone shares my opinion. … However, I can say that there are high-ranking politicians in France, such as [Francois] Fillon, a presidential candidate, and even lawmakers like [Thierry] Mariani and others, as well as military officials, who fully share my stance."
General Pinatel is also convinced that France should not be part of any military alliance, including NATO. In his view, the US-led bloc "has spread false information with regard to the threat from Russia and has tried to revive the atmosphere of the Cold War in Europe." This policy, he added, is alien to Europe and France in particular.
The retired general also mentioned that "NATO does not have an opinion of its own" since everything it says comes from Washington.