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The urgency of the French Government in building European Defense.

 

Written by journalist Alejandro Ronard Alem

Written by Associate Director and Contributor in France Alejandro Ronard Alem

By Alejandro Ronard Alem.- In a pragmatic way, the French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spares no effort to
advance in the construction of the European Defense.

France also concerned about the situation of some African countries and in particular the Sahel (1), the intervention in Mali where the jihadist guerrillas are still fighting,  the new
situation created in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) . The struggle against AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and the sub-Saharan Boko Haram terrorists.

The french deployment implies a very important investment in men, equipments and money,  so the government leaded by Francois Hollande wants to share this war effort with the rest of Europe.

French President Francois Hollande (r) and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, working hard to strengthen European Security.

French President Francois Hollande (r) and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, working hard to strengthen European Security.

The European Union is committed to seventeen overseas operations with about three thousand men
and France represents 80% of these military missions at a cost of 800 million
euros per year.

Last week, the French parliament approved the bill containing theMilitary budgetand program for 2014/2019.

This law covers the fields of Defense and Homeland Security, and focuses on the growing need to combat terrorism and cybercrime.

 Notably, the French defense will benefit from 578 million euros to be inputted in the Draft of the Appropriations Bill (Act of Amending Finance), thus financing the extra cost of external operations (OPEX) mainly in Mali.

Under this Act was adopted the resolution by which France will ask the support at the next European Council of Defense for  the extension of the European mechanism called ATHENA, which allows shared financing of part of the expenditure on military operations carried out on behalf of the European Union EU.

For some observers, the French intervention in support of the Arab Spring” had as a paradox that this intervention played in some cases against their own interests.

To deal with those who label France as wanting to play again the role of African Gendarme“; the French President Francois Hollande -with intelligence- proposed to include in the agenda of the Franco African Summit - which takes place today in Paris- the central theme of theSecurity and Development”.

To President Hollande, terrorism has historically nurtured poverty and this has happened particularly in Africa. To attack the causes of poverty by helping the sustainable development of African countries constitutes a vector of security and a guarantee of peace.

In this task Europe must be present due to its historical responsibility, given its colonial past and because Africa is an essential element in the future of Europe.

For this Franco-African Summit, President Francois Hollande wanted to show the central ideas of a new strategy for Security and Cooperation in Africa.

Finally the French face the fact that Americans are operating a strategic repositioning in the international deployment of its forces primarily to the Pacific, and therefore the fact that the europeans must raise the real problem of securing for themselves their own defense.

That is why France will insist with their partners in Europe on the need to move forward with firm steps in the building of a joint military industry, which responds to the most urgent needs posed by the new conflicts and the prevention and fight against terrorism and cybercrime, following the image of the Airbus experience. But will they be heard?

(1)

European Security News.- The Sahel is defined as the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition, in Africa, between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south with Estimated Areal of 3,053,200 km² Photo Credit Wikipedia

European Security News.- The Sahel is defined as the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition, in Africa, between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south with Estimated Areal of 3,053,200 km² Photo Credit Wikipedia