20 Jun 2020
The writing is on the wall, according to French military officials.
China’s expansion into the Pacific will endanger the territories of the European country there, such as New Caledonia and French Polynesia, and French armed forces in the region must be able to retaliate vigorously if necessary.
Military experts also believe that the cycle of asymmetric warfare is coming to an end and that a return to symmetrical state-to-state conflict is likely.
The French army needs to toughen up, says its chief of staff, and it has the strategic plan to do so by 2030.
General Thierry Burkhard, paratrooper of the Foreign Legion and former commander of his 13th Demi-Brigade and later of the Combined Operations Center, unveiled the 20-page document on Wednesday, Defense News Christina Mackenzie reported.
Burkhard said that the implementation of the plan is essential because a “recurrence of a major conflict is now a credible hypothesis, ”Defense News reported.
But the document also warns that “there are new, unpredictable and more insidious ways of using force, based on intimidation and manipulation, in a new type of warfare, undetectable and denied, to achieve undeniable strategic gains. by imposing a fait accompli “.
To “acquire operational superiority”, the French military must improve its capabilities in the electromagnetic environment, space, cyberspace and information technology, Defense News reported.
He also underlined the importance of “strategic industrial partnerships within Europe”, by mentioning in particular the CaMo (Motorized Capacity) program.
The latter will see Belgium receive 382 Griffon multirole armored vehicles as well as 60 Jaguar reconnaissance and combat armored vehicles which are identical and therefore compatible with the French.
The report also underlined the importance of the Franco-German main ground combat system – a joint effort to develop a main battle tank that will replace the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc by 2035, Defense News reported.
There are 12 major projects designed to better prepare the 114,000 French soldiers (including 77,000 soldiers on the ground) for the future of war, as described in the report.
These include the creation of a new technical school to give NCOs the more solid technical training they will need to use the equipment provided under the $ 12 billion Scorpion modernization program, Defense News reported. .
Burkhard also wishes to reorganize the management of military vehicles, by giving back responsibility to the regiments so that they can prepare independently for operations. He also wants training to be more realistic and incorporate new technologies.
Other plans include improving joint and allied interoperability as well as making better use of the Reserve Force, which currently numbers 24,000 men and women, Defense News reported.
According to Burkhard, these reservists should have more autonomy and be better distributed over the territory, and their contracts should be better suited to their very different lifestyles depending on full-time occupation, university status and geographic location. .
He also said that the army should have a role in educating French youth on the importance of defense and in the development of universal national service, which will become compulsory from 2024 for French people born in 2008.