Inflection of the French dissuasion doctrine at the eve of the XXIst century

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Is President Jacques Chirac’s speech, delivered at Ile Longue (Brittany) in January 2006, the sign of a disruption in the French dissuasion doctrine’s founding principles ? Is there a political consensus on the latter ? This inflection basically adjusts those principles, rather than revising them. The President notes the evolution of national security threats, before evoking, perhaps with an increased flexibility, the country’s vital interests. He concludes that dissuasion must be able to be effective on terrorist States or new regional powers. While France is currently reducing and modernising its nuclear forces and a broader or even concerted (at the European level) dissuasion is being discussed, the debate over the French doctrine should be revived during the upcoming presidential elections.

AFRI 2007 Summary