We have been here before. When Emmanuel Macron told journalists last week on his way back to Paris from a visit to Beijing that Europe should pursue strategic autonomy and not allow itself to be America’s “vassal,” he was borrowing from the playbook of at least three former French Presidents: Charles de Gaulle, François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac.

In 1966, De Gaulle famously withdrew France from Nato’s integrated command structure – though not from the alliance itself – in the belief that his country, with its proud military traditions, had to maintain its independence from the U.S when it came to questions of war and peace. NATO was obliged to move its headquarters from Paris to Brussels, where it remains to this day.