() national delegate of the Socialist Party to strategic issues
What are the appointments awaiting the next host of the Elysee in the field of defence
: Four subjects seem unavoidable in the field of defence: European defence, external France, military programming, the aviation industry and defence commitments. For various reasons, they will be on the President's agenda in 2007 and some, the day after the elections. This addition institutional issues.
.The defence Europe yet very promising after the accords of Saint Malo, Nice and Laeken, gradually seized after 2002. The divisions on the Iraq and the failure of the European Treaty then stopped the machine. It is imperative to revive the construction of an autonomous European defense. Our fellow citizens as all the other peoples of Europe expect from Europe more protection, more security. The European security and defence policy is probably the great project of European integration for the next fifteen years. The process through legal and institutional consolidation accepted by all (mutual guarantee clause, European preference, mechanism of structured cooperation to resume in a treaty regardless of the nature) must be very pragmatic initially and on concrete projects. This area also Europe will be by the evidence. One thing is certain, from the perspective of the French Presidency of the Union, must be in the summer 2007 take strong initiatives.
.The next Chief of armies will obviously need to take very many external operations in which our country is involved. It is to clarify the framework and objectives. Today, the blur of the missions entrusted to the armed forces in some theatres of external action is worrying. It may also fear the risk of getting bogged down or out of the crisis solution. Military commitments outside of the France should be considered calmly. Both must act with responsibility, but also draw the consequences when situations are hopeless or justify developments with our device. This review can be done on a case by case basis and by being in a position to decide. However it is already, taking all the lessons from the recent past, consider rebalancing the terms of our military presence in Africa. More of multilateralism is necessary in any case.
.Our model of army now has recurring tensions on the achievement of defined objectives. It is in serious financial difficulty. Today, almost at the end of the programming exercise, it is faced with a situation marked by a major financial impasse and a lack of ranking of priorities with respect to the programs. Even when the situation calls a rebate in order and that there is more a valiant penny cash, the Minister of defence continues to launch new programs. This is not serious. After the presidential election, arbitration will be to make emergency. If it wanted to achieve the 2015 model as it is designed, it should be not only to see his term to 2020, but it would still miss to programming deadlines EUR 70 billion. In fact the 2015 model, undermined by a financial crisis creeping, is obsolete! We must therefore put the book on the craft. A new scheme of planning and programming is required. It is a mystery to anyone. This exercise will be launched quickly.
.The France is equipped with a leading defence industry. This key sector of our economy directly or indirectly mobilizes the skills of 400,000 researchers, engineers, technicians and workers. In the aerospace, electronic, naval, nuclear and space fields, our companies are the best global. This situation is the result of efforts and huge investments for 50 years. You should back up these assets! However, the place of our aviation companies and arms in the international competition is declining. Their role is weakening in industrial consolidation in Europe. Strengthening the foundations of our business, I think to EADS, and industrial consolidation in some sectors at European level, including in the field of naval construction or land armaments.
Beyond of la major question of industrial restructuring, much remains to be done to optimize across the Union, the investments made by our partners and ourselves. He acting military programs, testing centres or chains of production, must be well gradually eliminate unnecessary and costly duplication.
This new policy must focus on four areas: the strengthening of our industrial system; the European preference in the manufacture and acquisition of armaments; the development of our research effort; a better structured export support.
Apart from these issues to the agenda as of 2007, I remember another priority in the Socialist project. The modernisation of our public life, calls like the practices used in all other Western democracies, a strengthening of procedures for information and review of the Parliament in matters of defence and greater transparency also(on the external operation, the control of the intelligence services and arms sales)
This standardization of the operation of our Republic in military affairs must also be accompanied by attention to the relationship between society and the military community. The professionalization of the armed forces will not complete without an adaptation of the status of the military. Professionalisation calls indeed support a progressive alignment of rights and the place of the military in our society.
This means in particular through the democratization of the instances of concertation on the boards of the military service but also by the military condition actions.
The consolidation of the relationship between the army and the nation also includes a "defence component" of the civic service to define, the resurgence of volunteerism and the constitution of reserves, with more incentives.
Budget tradeoffs are they to fear
No, not to be feared but to encourage out of the current situation of deadlock. That said, as it has already been clarified by our candidate, appropriations for defence throughout will be maintained. Flat restoration work be easy but avoid edicts. To be intelligently, budgetary and programming exercises, and therefore the preparation of the 2008 finance law, involved before decisions on equipment and formats a close dialogue between Headquarters, industrial and also a cooperation with our partners Europeans with whom we have programs in common.
The threat is changing rapidly, this implies a significant change of a part of the armed forces and an evolution of the doctrine
The world is changing, profoundly changes our environment, risks appear, threats materialize or is complex, our strategic posture must therefore be reactive, to adapt to the new issues of security for our country. The doctrine of employment and the missions of the armed forces must evolve accordingly. Furthermore, I note that planning and programming of our military model frameworks are now obsolete or away from the reality of the actual commands of military equipment.
It must be white, the revision of the armed forces 2015 model therefore to prepare a new paper and a new military programming exercise.
This work will be a global reflection of defence; They must be consistent between themselves, to inform the budgetary choices. It will be to set priorities for strategic functions, define the main lines of business contracts of the armed forces and to infer the defined formats.
With regard to the development of a new white paper - the previous date of 1994, more than twelve years ago!-prior thinking its discussion and its adoption by Parliament must be vigorous and thorough and associate with the work of headquarters surveys of experts and researchers in the area.
Need to take the time to write this white paper. It is a work which should not be botched. This whitepaper must be a founding act and a prospective work in fifteen years.
This exercise must lead to a redefinition of the defensive strategic functions: protection and deterrence and offensive functions whether projection or prevention. Above all, should better clarify in what context these functions must be assumed, framework national, European, Atlantic Alliance. Logically, it expresses our European priority.
Report Fromion pointed the shortcomings of the State export support, validating these improvements and what you think the axes to optimize exports of military equipment
The performance of our export companies suffer from a lack of readability and political portage. As noted in the report Fromion, our support to exports is deficient. Must be in this sensitive area at a time of transparency, control, but consistency.
Can it consider sharing the defences at the level of European armed forces
Yes. Three watchwords should guide our approach, the sharing, standardization and programming in common of large European military equipment. More broadly, the European defenses must be more effective. Should both streamline existing means by removing duplicates and return to level some capabilities essential to the autonomy of the decisions and actions of the Union. Deficiencies are evident in many areas: space, intelligence, the strategic command, strike capabilities in depth, the means of military transport.
Be effective forces in the service of the European Union involves the focus on harmonization of training, the standardization of materials, the gradual integration of the support and the strengthening of Headquarters, in particular forces headquarters which are the backbone of the military interventions. In addition, European countries should no longer, in equipment, conflicting choices.
But to move forward in this way, as I indicated above, it must also be progress in the definition of a European framework of defence, which implies a powerful political purpose.
Interview conducted by Bruno Lancesseur