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Impact of the Professionalization on the French Armed Forces on Civil Military Relations and Strategic Assessment

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[Technical Report, Research Paper]

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This study comprises an analysis of the historical impacts of the professionalization of Western democratic forces, more precisely of French military forces, that happened in 1996. The conclusions are that structural and cultural changes shaped the military apparatus, and profound political implications happened from this reform, too. The author also assesses Risa Brooks theory about the civil-military politics of strategic assessment SA and applies it to the case of France. The results of this process demonstrate that Frances strategic assessment was enhanced because of a significant improvement in information sharing between military and civilian leaders stemming from professionalization. These findings contradict a commonly held view, that the downsizing of the military through the end of a draft should have poor influence on political matters and national strategy. Professionalization reinforced military credibility among decision-leaders, inducing an equal dialogue, but without questioning civilian authority. Frances strategic assessment was strengthened with the end of conscription.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

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[A, Approved For Public Release]