For the Good of France: The French Experience in Africa
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Vive la France The countries of Africa have long been the focus of the worlds super powers. From colonization through independence to today, France has maintained significant relationships with many of Africas countries. The examination that follows will illustrate that while French politicians may announce changes to their African foreign policy, the true nature of French interests remain unchanged. These interests can be summarized into three main objectives to gain a strategic advantage, to gain an economic advantage, or to use its influence in African states to project a carefully crafted image of France to the international community. The underlying raison detre that France engages itself in Africa is for the good of France. This paper will first define the three objectives stated above and then, through an examination of Frances actions in Rwanda in the early 1990s, Congo Brazzaville in the 1980s and 1990s, the Central African Republic in 1996-1998 and the Cte dIvoire from 2002-2006, it will demonstrate how Frances actions have always been in pursuit of these objectives. It is this pursuit that demonstrates that, regardless of the needs of the African nations in which it is involved France does what is best for France.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics