France: civil security and national defence in the post-colonial world
Material posted: Publication date: 27-04-2020
Immigration from former French colonies to France creates special problems of integration, which complicated relations with these countries, in terms of police cooperation or defence. The traditional problems of regional stability of these States is the matter of geographical and sociological diversity of migration flows, which causes deep divisions between European partners.

At the same time, France is a victim of organized on the territories of some former colonies of terrorism, deliberately directed against the former metropolis. Colonial power in Africa, mediating power in the middle East, France has historically had a strong influence, mobilizing, when necessary, military tool.

In Africa, the normalization of relations with the former colonies became a political priority after the end of the term of office of françois Mitterrand. French military geography — the rate of this fracture. During the reign of Sarkozy has a review of the many defense agreements [1]. Countries with which France is bound by defence agreements containing a clause on military assistance, with the exception of NATO and the European Union — are now found mainly in East Africa and the middle East. Anchor French military potential is shifted accordingly with the opening of a base in Abu Dhabi, which marks a strong symbolic break, becoming the first permanent base in France, located outside the post-colonial space, and opens the close strategic partnership [2]. Average power with international influence France, thus, has positioned itself in the middle East.

These trends have several implications for the balance between diplomacy and the military instrument. First, they lead to a change in French military geography in postcolonial space: from the introduction of sovereignty, it goes to the "increase in the number of hubs", with the purpose of "saving entry points to a successful first intervention" [3]. Defence cooperation and training have also become a priority for addressing the lack of capacity of African armies and the implementation of the principle of "African solutions to African problems", the new leitmotif of French diplomacy. Second, note the change in French doctrine of intervention, which favours the introduction of the first alone or with a limited number of partners.

Finally, the terrorist attacks in France led to a significant, strategic removal of barriers between France and post-colonial territories. Implemented in 2000-ies, the transition from "external terrorism to a partly national" [4] put in 2008, the authors of the White paper the question of determining the relationship of civil security and national defence. Bringing this logic to the extreme, Francois Hollande led "war on terror", with the result that the military instrument was applied for the purposes of internal security, with consequences for the preparation and determination of the forces. Despite the fact that it no longer uses the term "war against terrorism" Emmanuel macron has changed the common law to adapt it to the situation in the field of security, has revised the format of the operation "Watch" and caused reflections on the restoration of the link between army and nation in the context where the return of the jihadists and the release of detainees can lead to a further increase internal threats.

Emmanuel macron, it seems, believes his historic mission to return France to its former greatness on the international stage, but whether he can regain geopolitical influence, while ensuring public safety and national security?

Natalia Pokrovskaya

The list of used sources and literature

  1. Jean-François Guilhaudis: Les accords de "défense" de deuxième génération, entre la France et divers pays africains (Inf.8/1-7). Mode of access:
  2. RAPPORT No. 742. Mode of access:
  3. RAPPORT D'INFORMATION No. 2114. Reimposta:

Tags: assessment , Europe , France