“Our cooperation overall with France in the security sector has never stronger,” Carter told reporters. “That’s true of the sharing of military information and intelligence information. And we took some actions this morning to increase that yet further.”
Carter did not elaborate on how that will occur, but said France’s only aircraft carrier, the FS Charles de Gaulle, since it deployed to the Persian Gulf this spring, has integrated “seamlessly” with U.S. forces who are launching airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq.
In Africa, French operations target terrorism, trafficking and extremism, and disrupt Boko Haram and other militant groups in countries like Mali, Niger and Chad, Carter added. France has a leading role there, with the Pentagon providing aerial refueling and cargo flights.
Le Drian, speaking through a translator, said the “multiplication of crises” across the world will draw Paris and Washington closer together. He and Carter also discussed cooperating more in training for drone operations, le Drian said.
The nations still do handle some operations differently. France, for example, launches airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq, but will not do so in Syria. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius drew a distinction between the two countries last year, saying that France would join the campaign against the militants to protect Baghdad.