Bush and Sarkozy declare Iran aim.

Nehustan

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On ROPs
#1
Anyone who hasn't seen this coming from beyond the horizon needs a Labrador...a French speaking one of course. Congress resounds to the sound of 'Vivre L'Americain'. I wonder how France will take to their new role. That said I suppose the Brits need a rest. Will watch this develop with interest over the coming months, it will interesting watching Sarkozy spin his country...now I get to see how gullable the French may be...


BBC News said:
US President George W Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have said they will work jointly to convince Iran to give up its nuclear programme.

After talks at Mount Vernon, near Washington, Mr Bush praised his French counterpart as "a partner in peace"...Mr Sarkozy told reporters: "It is unacceptable for Iran at any point to have a nuclear weapon." But the French leader emphasised that Iran was entitled to develop civilian nuclear energy (nice posturing there Nicolas), which Tehran argues is the sole aim of its programme...At Congress earlier, the current resident of the Elysee Palace was cheered for more than three minutes before he even began his 45-minute address..."America liberated us. This is an eternal debt," he said, adding: "I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France."...The French leader, who spent the afternoon with Mr Bush while on holiday in New England in August, is widely known back in France as "l'Americain" for transatlantic leanings.
[align=center]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7083339.stm[/align]
 
#2
THe cheeky fukker
..."America liberated us. This is an eternal debt," So I guess all the other nations were just drinking tea then.

"I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France."...
So recently he hasnt been thinking about much else then.
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#3
Nehustan said:
Anyone who hasn't seen this coming from beyond the horizon needs a Labrador...a French speaking one of course. Congress resounds to the sound of 'Vivre L'Americain'. I wonder how France will take to their new role. That said I suppose the Brits need a rest. Will watch this develop with interest over the coming months, it will interesting watching Sarkozy spin his country...now I get to see how gullable the French may be...


BBC News said:
US President George W Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have said they will work jointly to convince Iran to give up its nuclear programme.

After talks at Mount Vernon, near Washington, Mr Bush praised his French counterpart as "a partner in peace"...Mr Sarkozy told reporters: "It is unacceptable for Iran at any point to have a nuclear weapon." But the French leader emphasised that Iran was entitled to develop civilian nuclear energy (nice posturing there Nicolas), which Tehran argues is the sole aim of its programme...At Congress earlier, the current resident of the Elysee Palace was cheered for more than three minutes before he even began his 45-minute address..."America liberated us. This is an eternal debt," he said, adding: "I want to tell you that whenever an American soldier falls somewhere in the world, I think of what the American army did for France."...The French leader, who spent the afternoon with Mr Bush while on holiday in New England in August, is widely known back in France as "l'Americain" for transatlantic leanings.
[align=center]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7083339.stm[/align]
I hear French comment - pragmatic as usual - that says lets give the Iranians a French commercial reactor(s) that will require ongoing support from France to stay operational, and we can watch what they are up to. Winners all round. Stability around the Iran problem, French make a few quid, French help keep the peace and look good...etc

Logically sound, but how risky would it be in reality :?
 

Nehustan

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#4
I actually had a discussion with a French colleague at work just post the presidential election and prior the 'parliamentary' one. It revolved around discussing French labour law, and me saying Sarkozy would gear up France for war alongside the US. The debate hinged on the majority needed in 'parliament' (I think 2/3rds) for France to go to war, we discussed whether he'd get it, and my colleague added there would be no way the French public would support a war. I wasn't convinced, still not. Seems France is the new shoulder to shoulder ally...

(edited to add that the UMP don't have the required 2/3rds majority)
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Not a cat in hell's chance.

France will never give the majority needed to go and fight something big. It's one thing bashing a few natives in Africa (using international troops), but quite another to get involved in something big, even with US help.

With the prevalence of instant global media and satelite telly, they aren't going to risk having the BBC show a bunch of Legionnaires legging away from the front line - not again!
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#6
Nehustan said:
I actually had a discussion with a French colleague at work just post the presidential election and prior the 'parliamentary' one. It revolved around discussing French labour law, and me saying Sarkozy would gear up France for war alongside the US. The debate hinged on the majority needed in 'parliament' (I think 2/3rds) for France to go to war, we discussed whether he'd get it, and my colleague added there would be no way the French public would support a war. I wasn't convinced, still not. Seems France is the new shoulder to shoulder ally...
The French public will not "go to war", and certainly not under an American framework - eg Iraq.
That said, they see themselves as an international nation with international responsibilities, so if given responsibility and authority will commit and commit strongly. The military is well supported in all ways publicly and politically - I guess if the UK was not already involved and had choices we would behave in a similiar way.
 

Nehustan

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On ROPs
#7
Biped said:
Not a cat in hell's chance.

France will never give the majority needed to go and fight something big. It's one thing bashing a few natives in Africa (using international troops), but quite another to get involved in something big, even with US help.

With the prevalence of instant global media and satelite telly, they aren't going to risk having the BBC show a bunch of Legionnaires legging away from the front line - not again!
You may be right Biped, but my gut tells me something different. If I had to guess I'd be watching Lebanon for a trigger, I don't know, akin to the USMC bombing? Would probably hinge on renewed trouble in Lebanon to pull it off, but not beyond the stretch of strings...
 
#8
Call me old fashioned but I prefer how it was. So, I suspect, do millions of Frogs who'll see Sarkozy sucking up to Bush as a national humiliation.

 

Nehustan

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#9
annakey said:
Call me old fashioned but I prefer how it was. So, I suspect, do millions of Frogs who'll see Sarkozy sucking up to Bush as a national humiliation.

You mean like the millions of Brits who saw Bliar sucking up to Bush? That made a real difference. That said poodles are French, non?
 
#11
If the French army is commited to some "real" shooting war (and I mean the army, not SF units) and that body bags are sent back to France, that could, sadly, help the French armed forces recover some credibility.

Currently, they are chronically underfunded and confined to peace keeping operations with a growing feeling, voiced by general officers, that they are in the process of losing core skills unless something is done quickly.

Here is an interesting interview of a French general recently printed in "defence news"; it says it all.

[align=justify]French Army Doctrine Center Warns of Declining Skills
By PIERRE TRAN



Paris — The French Army faces a budgetary and policy battle for resources as questions mount over its ability to perform future front-line missions if spending trends continue, industry and analysts said.
Two concerns loom large for the Army as it shifts to a post-Cold War concept of operations: the low troop numbers and chronic underfunding for equipment, which raises doubts over the ability of French soldiers to fight high-intensity operations.
At the current tempo of operations, the service risks losing core competencies as training is cut, said Brig. Gen. Vincent Desportes, head of the Center for Doctrine for Employment of Forces, which looks for lessons from operations.
“I am not sure we are at over¬stretch, but training is being degraded,” he said. “We are in the process of losing the fundamentals, our know-how.”
French soldiers’ deployments are limited to four months, but when time spent preparing and traveling are counted, that comes to about six months. When sol¬diers are deployed, they often perform different tasks, Desportes said. A driver of the Leclerc heavy tank might drive a Sagaie light tank and as there is less training time, the original specialization risks being forgotten.

To redress the situation, the Army needs an extra 20,000 troops, or another four brigades to add to the existing eight, Desportes said. “Then, we could live normally,” he said.

About half the shortfall could be found internally, with the Army fielding 8,000 to 10,000 troops, but only if the service is allowed to reorganize the way it wishes, he said. That involves closing small bases and garrisons, some of which have fewer than 50 soldiers.

Those bases perform a regional development role, rather than a military function. But with local council elections due in 2008, the government is unlikely to announce base closures any time soon.

Some of the extra troops needed could be found in support func¬tions. The Army has 122,000 operational troops out of a total headcount of 130,000, with 8,000 on detachment or unavailable for deployment, Desportes said.

A second big worry is the Army’s loss of ground in the budgetary battle, even as the soldier’s role has become more complex.
Contrary to public declarations that the government upheld the 2003-08 military budget law, the Army believes it has lost the equivalent of a year’s equipment spending, Desportes said. No official figures were available.

Other Services Have Funding Edge

Industry views the Army as having lost spending rounds com¬pared with the Air Force and Navy.
“There has been a triple decoupling,” said Bruno Rambaud, chairman of GICAT, the French trade association for land systems suppliers. Rambaud is also chief executive of Thales Land and Joint Systems division.
First, equipment spending for the Army has been virtually flat and lagged behind that of the Air Force and Navy during the 2003-2005 period, he said.

Second, France spends about 54,000 euros ($76,600) per soldier, little more than half the 97,000 the British spend on their infantry, according to figures from the Eurodefense trade body.

Third, France lags behind allies such as Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States in the new priority of vehicle protection, Rambaud said. Considering that one-third of the losses are due to roadside bombs, that spending gap was serious, he said.

Rambaud declined to say what he thought the right amount of Army spending should be, but pointed to spending on the British Army.
“Britain is the closest militarily to France,” he said.
Relative to U.S. spending, the French Army’s budget consumes far less of the total defense budget, only 15 percent compared with about one-third in the United States, he said.

“It’s a fact the Army has been badly treated,” said François Géré, chairman of the think-tank Institut Français d’Analyse Stratégique. This raises questions about what missions the Army will be capable of fulfilling[/align].


More at:http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=3083616&C=landwar


BTW, you can forget about the FFL carrying out all the risky jobs; since the SF command (COS) was established in 1992, the FFL does exactly the same missions as the rest of the now all-regular French army.
 

Nehustan

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#12
Good post, I can almost hear them plotting in Djibouti as we speak...
 
#13
Yes, armies need a war every once in a while, just to keep in shape.
The 2/3 majority is needed to go to war, or to declare war to another country, the old-fashioned way. I don't think they would need 2/3 for an "intervention", such as Afghanistan.
 
#14
The armed forces only gets 1,67% of the GDP, not 2% as Sarko claims.

The Gendarmerie is siphoning the remaining 0,33 % which means France is not, as the president claims, up to the 2% of the GDP NATO wants its member to devote to their defense.
 

Nehustan

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#15
mr.fawlty said:
Yes, armies need a war every once in a while, just to keep in shape.
The 2/3 majority is needed to go to war, or to declare war to another country, the old-fashioned way. I don't think they would need 2/3 for an "intervention", such as Afghanistan.
Yep, it would certainly require some stage management one way or another.
 
#16
One of France's advantage, when going to war, is that it can lose soldiers without anybody giving a f*ck. Nine killed in Ivory Coast in 2004 or 58 in Beirut in 1983 brought the same defeaning silence from the general public.

The feeling of "they choose to join so we aren't going to cry over them" is very strong.

It's both a strength for a callous government and a heartbreak for the families of fallen soldiers.
 

Nehustan

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#17
fantassin said:
One of France's advantage, when going to war, is that it can lose soldiers without anybody giving a f*ck. Nine killed in Ivory Coast in 2004 or 58 in Beirut in 1983 brought the same defeaning silence from the general public.

The feeling of "they choose to join so we aren't going to cry over them" is very strong.

It's both a strength for a callous government and a heartbreak for the families of fallen soldiers.
Hmmm, interesting double edged argument there. #1 general public that could be annoyed enough through loss of face to allow the President leeway to deploy #2 populous that doesn’t care too much at the return of body bags. Sounds like a winning combination for Bush and Sarkozy.
 
#18
As far as Iran is concerned, the strongest opponents to a French participation in a conflict are French generals; they know the real state of the forces they are commanding and they have said time and again that war is not a good option.

The recent hearing of the senatorial commission in charge of the next defense White Paper gave some freedom of speech to a number of officers.

The scathing attack on the state of the French Air Force by a serving Air Force LTC who had just handed over command of a Mirage 2000 squadron after having led it in combat Ops in Afghanistan was extremly frank and rather embarassing.

The hearing of the said LTC (in French) can be heard there:

http://viphttp.yacast.net/pm/clbdsn/popup_foussard.html
 

Nehustan

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#19
fantassin said:
As far as Iran is concerned, the strongest opponents to a French participation in a conflict are French generals; they know the real state of the forces they are commanding and they have said time and again that war is not a good option.

The recent hearing of the senatorial commission in charge of the next defense White Paper gave some freedom of speech to a number of officers.

The scathing attack on the state of the French Air Force by a serving Air Force LTC who had just handed over command of a Mirage 2000 squadron after having led it in combat Ops in Afghanistan was extremly frank and rather embarassing.

The hearing of the said LTC (in French) can be heard there:

http://viphttp.yacast.net/pm/clbdsn/popup_foussard.html
I hate to bring this up but generals complaining about being equipped for war and/or underfunded, and perhaps the need for exit strategy doesn't bode well. I'm getting a strange sense of deja vu....
 

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