While many factors point to a rapid increase in international tensions in the years to come, the French armies are engaged in a dynamic of modernization aimed at a deadline beyond 2040. We can, therefore, question on the relevance of the operational and technological tempo which guides French programming, with regard to the evolution of the international security situation.
“ The further you can look into the past, the further you will see into the future .” This oft-quoted phrase from Winston Churchill actually represents only a rewriting of Thucydides' famous phrase, " History is only a perpetual beginning again ."
When we apply these maxims to the present situation, we cannot help but notice the many similarities that exist between the development of tensions on a global scale today, and the international situation which prevailed in the late 1990s. 40, more particularly after on August 29, 1949, the Soviet Union had entered the club of nuclear nations.
Towards a new cycle of growing tensions and conflicts until 2035-2040?
Designated the Cold War, this period lasted from April 1949, with the creation of NATO then the Warsaw Pact, to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. It was characterized by a period of increasing tensions from 1949 to 1962, and the Cuban missile crisis, a period of stabilization and even reduction in tensions between 1963 and 1982, then a new phase of tension from 82 to 85, with the Euromissile crisis, against a backdrop of economic collapse of the Soviet model.
If we were to transpose this development to the present situation, this would imply that between 2022 and the Russian offensive against Ukraine, and 2035, the World should follow an increasing curve with regard to international tensions, the risks of war and global instability.
It is precisely on this timetable that the American armies have been working for several years, estimating that a conflict with China around Taiwan could occur from 2027. Furthermore, without announcing it publicly, everything indicates that the Pentagon is now considering that this confrontation is invariable, or at least sufficiently probable to actively prepare for it.
In fact, it would be appropriate, today, for the French Armies, and more generally, the European armies, to evolve, too, to respond to the probable evolution of tensions in this historical dynamic, which can be compared, a certain, work by Doctor Philippe Fabry called Historionomie .
Although lacking a statistical and exhaustive analysis, this approach has shown itself to be surprisingly capable of anticipating current tensions, since the beginning of the 2010s, well before the obvious beginnings of deterioration appeared in Russia, in China or Turkey.
The operational and technological tempo of the French armies points beyond 2040
However, everything indicates that today, the French armies are committed to an objective aimed at an operational high point beyond 2040, that is to say well beyond the cycle of increasing tension in development, which should extend until 2035, perhaps a little beyond, if we adhere to the notion of historical cycle.
Concretely, today, it appears that the French armies agree to neglect their response capabilities in the short or medium term, to guarantee optimal effectiveness in the long term, that is to say after 2040.
The example of the intermediate generation E-MBT tank for the Army
A concrete example of this assumed strategy was given in mid-October, during a response from the Ministry of the Armed Forces to a written question from MP Philippe Gosselin . This questioned the ministry about the opportunity for the Army to turn to the KNDS E-MBT model as an interim heavy tracked solution, pending the arrival of the MGCS, after 2040, subject several once standing in our columns .
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