France Wants To Strip Down NATO Command

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by fantassin, May 11, 2010.

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  1. France Wants To Strip Down NATO Command


    Published: 11 May 2010

    PARIS - One year after rejoining NATO military command, France wants to see the alliance's headquarters cut down in size, officials in Defence Minister Herve Morin's office told AFP on May 11.

    French officers feel the Atlantic alliance's 12,500-strong command staff is too large and its structures too unwieldy for 21st century combat.

    Paris officials have contacted NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to urge that plans be drawn up to abolish redundant and overlapping command structures, they said.

    "This rationalization could allow us to cut down manpower and command structures by a third and at the same time improve our effectiveness," a French official said, arguing that NATO needed more "deployable assets".

    More at:

    Good idea but apart from Norway and JFC Stavanger, I can't think of a NATO country which would step forward and accept the closure of a NATO HQ based on its soil.

    On a purely national viewpoint, thus is also linked to the gradual realization of the spiralling personnel costs (oversea allowances, housing, national support elements...) for France after returning to the NATO integrated command structure....
  2. Plus Ca Change. These proposals aren't exactly new. I can think of at least 1 functioning HQ that may go. Couple that with the fact that NATO and NATO countries are broke and you can understand the proposal. I suspect though that there will be an ulterior motive here which will see a restructuring and therefore the option for France to bid for posts where previously it couldn't. Cynical...Moi?
  3. But what will the food and wine be like?

  4. Last year, France was offered more positions than what she bidded for...

    Considering how difficult it is for the FRA Armed Forces to find the lower portion of the "vertical slice", I really don't think France's agenda is to grab even more positions. The French MoD is under pressure to reduce costs by all means and at the same time it ends up having to fork out a lot of money to pay for the 1000s of NATO positions it now has to fill.

    Trimming the fat would be in everybody's interests.
  5. Agreed, but it would allow them to bid for fewer (or the same number of), but more targetted (Rank / Capacity / Field etc) posts. I think that there is redundancy there but it is also a bit of a sacred cow. In terms of paying for posts - that's the price of membership. It has benefits but also costs and I suspect that perceived benefits are reducing while costs are increasing - this is true for most members.
  6. NATO's command staff could be cut to one tenth it's size with an appreciable increase in capability... problem is it's political monster with every member state wanting a piece of the pie.
  7. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Let's be realistic. The French are suggesting this because they want to gain influence in NATO at the expense of others, notably the USA. The French are a bunch of cynical manipulators with absolutely nothing to contribute unless it leads to the agrandisement of France
  8. It has obviously escaped you that the USA is the country which has plain and simple offered positions to France, including some France had never ever even dreamt of obtaining.

    If you want to talk about cynical manipulator, I would suggest the UK which is currently steering clear of all the non-operationally related jobs, bidding for positions that it then leaves empty once it has secured the command positions while deserting the HQs it is considering as irrelevant...
  9. SHAPE, Two JFCs who run Ops across the NATO environment (remember there are still NATO Ops in the Balkans, Indian Ocean, Standing Naval Forces and the Air space, Two Force Commands who provide Augmentation to the American run ops in Afg and 7 Rapid Reaction Corps HQs that rotate through Afg IJC, are force providers for KFOR and take it in turns to provide NATO "Spearhead" forces called the NRF. That's just the LAND piece.

    I think there is room for cuts and there are a lot of nations milking things for their own gain, without the remotest chance of doing anything dangerous. But and its a big But, someone has to do it. A bit like Guards and Duties, Ceremonials et al. 12,500 out of 2 million is a lot less top heavy than UK PLC!!