At the heart of every recurrence of ‘military renaissance’ one will always find a shock, whether political, doctrinal or technical. France, orphan-child of a politico-military model based hitherto on deterrence, is today experiencing its ‘political shock’. Our armed forces are seeking a way between the challenge of ‘Transformation’ and the frustrations of ‘violence-control’. It is by refining an innovative operational art based on manoeuvre as a way of rising above our current strategic isolation that France can achieve its ‘military renaissance’.
French military renaissance
Can we hope, one day, to see France once more become a great military nation?
In the context of the 2007 presidential election, a complete rethink of the resources, structure and possible missions of the French armed forces is not to be excluded. The defining characteristics of the current situation–grave budgetary difficulties, overwhelming US military preponderance, French alliances which are ill-defined or overblown, dispersion of force through a multiplicity of missions and deployments–all lead us to reflect on phenomena of long duration, and on some historical reasons for the rise and decline of armies. Lessons can be drawn to concentrate our thinking and actions towards a French military renaissance.
Military and national renaissances
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