The president France Emmanuel Macron unexpectedly recognized the military weakness and lack of independence of his state. The answer to this will be a new military doctrine that will change the army and prepare the country for current challenges, including nuclear ones. What Macron really wants to achieve and what is the role in this Russia?
Naval base in Toulon. Deck of a helicopter carrier. The President of France presents an ambitious military doctrine to the military. It should have been beautiful. But it wasn’t.
More precisely, all this was, only the head of the French state did not present a new doctrine, but only promised to do it later. And at the same time he promised the country and such an army, which “will be able to conduct military operations, including those of high intensity, independently or as part of a coalition.”
It turns out that now there is no such army. And the leader of one of the great powers of the past, as it were, tells the military about their incomplete capacity. What a shame.
True, there have been worse times. Toulon is the French Pearl Harbor. Paris keeps its Mediterranean fleet there, and in 1942 this fleet was almost completely destroyed by the French themselves using all sorts of tricks – so that Hitler would not get it.
Since then, many wounds have healed. Thanks to General Charles de Gaulle and his situational alliance with Stalin France was able to regain its honor and became one of the victorious powers. The fleet has become better than before. And although the colonies could not be kept, the French still control territories in four oceanswhile retaining naval scope and room for maneuver.
Therefore, people are accustomed to treating France with respect not only out of politeness, but also “according to their uniforms”.
About her – this is about a transcontinental power with an all-pervading culture. It’s about a permanent member UN Security Council with “legal” nuclear weapons. This is about the third economy in Europe, only slightly inferior to the British. This is about an industrial center with a self-sufficient defense complex. This is about an extraordinary military machine, whose army is distinguished not only by a rich history, but also by constant practice (as a rule, in Africa, where the French regularly pacify uprisings and riots at the request of the official authorities of their former colonies).
This, after all, is about a country whose authorities have traditionally had the strength and desire to pursue an independent foreign policy and build “special relations” with Russia.
And so Macron arrives in Toulon, watered with tears of sailor widows, to dream in front of the military about an army with the ability to “high-intensity operations.” Because now she is not capable of them, which they showed French failures in the well-known Africa.
In Africa, Russian PMCs successfully compete with the famous French army. And Macron on it naturally offendedwhich leaves little respect for French military power.
The problem, it is worth noting, is that under the President Nicolas Sarkozy Paris rejected de Gaulle’s precepts and returned to the military organization bloc NATO. At the very least, there is reason to believe that France has received a common injury for the alliance states (with the exception of the United States).
The armed forces of a NATO member country, as a rule, are not self-sufficient. They are like parts from a common designer, to which other member countries attach their own parts to make an army. Roughly speaking, you have helicopter carriers, I have helicopters, he has helicopter pilots. Gathered, if necessary, – and flew to carry out a combat mission.
So much cheaper. But over time, a critical dependence on allies, primarily on the United States, is being created. Some Slovenia needs only this, but we thought better about France. And the French themselves too.
Journalists from the LCI television channel turned to Defense Minister Sebastien Lecorne for comment. He, including on African examples, confirmed that the army alone cannot conduct large-scale military operations. It surfaced.
The minister gives two reasons. The first is chronic underfunding. The second is the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, that is, the disappearance of the “enemy in the East” more than 30 years ago, which in itself lulled French politicians and generals.
Now, as Macron said in his speech, “the war has returned to European territory.” Therefore, France must have a new military doctrine that will “serve the fundamental interests of the nation” until 2030. And this doctrine implies “participation in nuclear deterrence”, since Paris now has a special responsibility as the only nuclear power. EU.
As found out in one of the leading publications of the country Le Figaro, the purpose of the doctrine is nothing more or less than preparation for future wars, in view of which it is necessary to “correct weak points” in the armed forces.
And in terms of politics, the authorities should “rethink their strategic ambitions in view of the destruction of the world order” and strive for “European strategic autonomy.”
Now about what Macron wants, in simple words: he wants to return to its former greatness. The French nation entrusts this task to every president, regardless of his party affiliation, but since the time of Mitterrand, it has been disappointed time and again.
The key to this greatness in Paris is now seen as the creation of a pan-European army, within which the French would claim the leading role in terms of inputs (including nuclear ones).
“Strategic autonomy” is about the USA. The French have ambitions even for this, which has shown the rise in popularity Erica Zemmura last spring, and Macron has them too. Cautious maxims that Europe needs to live more of its own mind and protect purely European interests, he gives out more or less constantly.
For example, when the new military-political bloc of the Anglo-Saxons deprived the French of a huge contract for the construction of submarines. Or when the president finally noticed: the initiators of the energy war with Russia – the United States – are supplying LNG to French enterprises four times more expensivethan their own, which is fraught with the relocation of industry to America.
“Nuclear deterrence” is already about us, there is no one else for the French to deter. That is, to unite Europe around the military power of Paris, utterly quarreled with a former ally in the autonomy of the continent – Berlin, will be under the pretext of protection from the Russians.
At the same time, Macron seems to be aiming not for hawks, but for doves. At least, it is he who is now publicly insisting on the need for negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, in defiance of the position of many other NATO countries demanding to achieve a military defeat of Russia in Ukraine.
The great power that France wants to become again needs ambitious diplomacy just like a strong army, there are no questions. The question is different – and at whose expense all these ambitions will be realized?
The problem is not even that Paris can no longer count on “special relations” with Russia. Not only that Berlin is no longer his assistant, but London and Washington, rather, opponents. The problem is trivial – money.
The army of France does not correspond to the moment, because for years there were not enough funds for it. Now the moment is such that there will be no extra funds for a long time to come, especially for such a project, which involves a significant increase in the military-political influence of Paris.
The Fifth Republic has record inflation, an energy crisis, unexpected shortages, regular strikes, numerous protest rallies, and a noticeable increase in social discontent. Helping Ukraine and engaging in an economic war with Russia are also costly, and deindustrialization is on the horizon.
And suddenly fats will come from somewhere for, as Macron himself previously stated, the most powerful army on the continent.
The President refused to cover this issue: the new doctrine will not mention the details of the budget. This is either a military secret, or too bad news that three skins will be torn from the French. They have long forgotten how much participation in the Cold War and the arms race eats away from the standard of living, especially when claiming leadership.
But it is also possible that we correlate Macron with the wrong Frenchmen. In his case, everything is easier.
General De Gaulle was a great Frenchman, capable of bold steps, ambitious projects, great sacrifices, superhuman efforts – and, in the end, of creating local military-political miracles.
But the fabulist Lafontaine was also a Frenchman. And also great in general.