France was the objet de dédain for the U.S. when they opposed the Iraq invasion, yet they are now being courted by the U.S. (Mrs. Obama recently gifted the French First lady with a Gibson "Legend" -- not too shabby.)
Why? Because the French are the newest members of NATO, and the U.S. would like a bailout -- merci! -- from NATO in the Afghanistan PWOT.
But there is that niggling problem of human rights, the compromising of which hangs over the U.S. like a Damoclean sword. Meanwhile, they ask NATO to in effect invade Afghanistan and force western ways upon an unwilling population.
Ironically, the U.S. is asking this of the same participants who joined NATO to prevent the Soviet Union from doing exactly the same thing to central Europe that the U.S. is attempting in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO was defensively arrayed to keep the Soviets from invading Europe; it was never envisioned as an offensive force, nor was it ever construed to be a strike force for U.S. policy use.
Nonetheless, this is the U.S. goal for present-day NATO members. Maybe it is time for the U.S. to leave NATO, and for the organization to be disbanded. The Soviet threat no longer looms.
It is not a U.S. concern, but the EU could create their own protective alliance, if they felt such a thing necessary.