France to Announce a New Defense Strategy

French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian

The French President Francois Hollande will release a long-awaited update to the nation’s defense strategy Monday. Aviation Week reports. On a post in the Ares blog, Amy Svitak comments the document will outline France’s response to changes in the defense and security environment since 2008, when the most recent iteration of the strategy was issued under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. 

According to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian three things have changed since the last white paper was issued in 2008: The evolution of American defense posture with a new orientation to the Asia-Pacific region; a need for European and other nations to clean up their finances; and a more focused push to create a common European defense policy.

“The nation has to basically put its house together by ensuring budgetary independence, because when we have a colossal debt, and we do, we’re not sovereign,” he said. “But we have to maintain a defense posture equivalent to our place in the world. That’s the difficulty here.”“We do a white paper at moments of great evolution in our mission of security and defense for the nation,” Le Drian told French air force personnel on a recent visit at Avord air base. “We had a white paper when the deterrent force was decided. We had one when it was time to think about the professionalization of the army. We had another at the fall of the Berlin Wall, a period of historical change globally.”