French Military Reforms and Strategy
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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French military downsizing and reconfiguring is part of a NATO-wide trend. All French forces, including the nuclear force de frappe, are affected. Three factors are shaping French and European post-Cold War militaries 1 disappearance of the Soviet Union 2 budgetary pressures, especially competition between security needs and European integration needs meeting the Maastricht Convergence Criteria and 3 new missions replacing the Cold War outlook. The military issue for France is whether the planned, professionalized, rapid-reaction forces will be adequate to post-Cold War missions, or whether downsizing and budget problems will result in a hollowed-out military. Success will depend on relaunching strong economic growth and on the Chirac governments determination to see through tensions between security and integration until the single European currency is launched and less constrained budgetary times return.
- Military Forces and Organizations