When they have picked themselves up from their humiliation, the French will need to gather their sangfroid and confront some cruel verities.
Number one: there is no sentiment in geostrategy.
The French must see there is no point in wailing about having been shoddily treated. They were.
But who ever heard of a nation short-changing its defence priorities out of not wanting to give offence? The fact is that the Australians calculated they had underestimated the Chinese threat and so needed to boost their level of deterrence.
They acted with steely disregard for French concerns but, when it comes to the crunch, that is what nations do. It is almost the definition of a nation: a group of people who have come together to defend their own interests. Their own, not others’