What military aid can France objectively provide to Ukraine?

Since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, France has supported Kyiv in the political, economic and military domains. However, for several months, this military aid has been regularly contested, whether in France but also in Europe, being judged by its detractors as insufficient, in particular vis-à-vis the aid granted by other European countries. It is true that Paris has remained discreet about the aid granted, and in several areas, largely behind compared to other European nations, including countries much less rich than France can be. On several occasions, op-eds were published in the major national dailies, here to call for the delivery of Leclerc tanks, there to increase military aid to €4 billion, relying precisely on this apparent weakness of French assistance to the 'Ukraine. Beyond these appeals essentially built on an emotional response to the Ukrainian distress, it is necessary to define both the objectives targeted by this support, but also the constraints that apply to it, so as to bring out a doctrine that can objectively frame this military aid in an optimized way.

Why should France help Ukraine militarily?

If at first glance, French support for Ukraine seems conditioned by humanitarian and international law considerations, it turns out that France, like its neighbours, has many perfectly objective reasons for actively supporting Kyiv militarily, in order to to allow a Ukrainian victory against the Russian armies.

First of all, even if it is only rarely addressed, it is a question of undermining Moscow's military tools as much as possible, and thus reducing over time its nuisance capacities in Europe but also in the Middle East, in the Caucasus and in Africa, that is to say all the theaters of friction with the regular or non-regular forces in the service of the Kremlin. This goal appeared only when it became clear that the Ukrainian armies were indeed able to resist the Russian military steamroller, but also to inflict severe losses on it. And in fact, it seems that the Russian armies have suffered terrible attrition since the beginning of the conflict, with between 30.000 and 60.000 killed, at least as many wounded, and the loss of a very large number of materials, including 1200 tanks. documented, i.e. half of the Russian fleet prior to this war. In fact, supporting Ukraine militarily makes it possible in a direct and significant way to severely erode the Russian military tool, and according to the current dynamics, it is more than likely that the armies and the defense industry of the country will have to do very major efforts for 10 to 15 years, if only to hope to return to the levels they had before the start of the conflict, a period during which the Russian threat will be considerably lessened, even as all the European countries develop their armies and their resilience capabilities.

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since the beginning of the conflict, the Russian armies have lost half of their fleet of modern heavy tanks, permanently undermining their conventional operational capabilities

On the other hand, the Ukrainian military successes against one of the most powerful armies on the planet, if they are based above all on the courage, determination and intelligence of the Ukrainian soldiers, will only have been possible with the help of Westerners, and the materials provided. In fact, this Western support conveys two perfectly audible messages on the international scene, the influence of which will be crucial in the evolution of global geopolitics: the determination and unity of Western capitals, including in the face of the induced effects of more unpleasant, particularly from an economic point of view, as well as the effectiveness of Western military equipment. Because if the heroes of this war are the Ukrainian soldiers, the symbols, as for them, were often armaments transmitted to Ukraine, as it was the case of the anti-tank missiles Javelin and MLAW and the drone TB2 Bayraktar at the time of the offensive on Kyiv and Kharkiv, Caesar, Himars and Pzh2000 artillery systems during the autumn counter-offensive, and anti-aircraft systems like the IRIS-T SLM and the NASAMS in the face of the blitz.

Each time, the arrival of this equipment delivered by the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany and many others, played a decisive role on the ground. This demonstration of Western force, both in terms of the solidity of the political bloc and the performance of its weapon systems, will undoubtedly play a moderating role in the face of the ambitions of many potentates throughout the world in the years to come, including those who might be tempted by nuclear adventurism. This change in the image of the Western bloc, and therefore of France, is all the more critical since the latter had largely suffered from the American and British adventure in Iraq, but also from the pitiful management of the Syrian and Libyan crises. , and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

What constraints apply to French military aid to Ukraine?

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