Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Military service: do the French suffer from retrograde amnesia?

Built on the growing aspirations of the French in favor of a return to military service, the Prime Minister, Elizabeth Bornes, integrated, in her 4 flagship measures intended to prevent riots like those of the summer of 2023, a proposal for supervision military of the most problematic young people. If the government solution is obviously incoherent, as the Armies will remind it, it is based on an idealized vision of the French concerning a National Service adorned with all the virtues, except those for which it was designed.

Do you know about retrograde amnesia? According to the medical dictionary of the Academy of Medicine, it is a memory disorder of the type of amnesia of evocation or recollection, which concerns the restitution of events which preceded the illness, and of which the memory was previously well preserved.

Concretely, we suffer from this type of amnesia, when we are no longer able to recall memories prior to the trauma that gave rise to it. And anterograde amnesia, well, it's the opposite.

It could well be that the French suffer from this severe illness, according to doctors, at least when it comes to national service, and more precisely, military service.

The supervision of young delinquents by the Armed Forces: bis repetita

On the occasion of the presentation of the government action plan launched following the urban riots of just three months ago, after the tragic death of young Nahel, following the shooting of a police officer after he had forced a road inspection, the Prime Minister presented the four measures which will be implemented to contain this significant drift in French society.

Armed JET device
The supervision of young delinquents by the armies was experimented between 1986 and 2003 with the Young people in work teams or JET system, without conclusive results.

One of these measures is based on possible supervision of “problem young people” by the armed forces. This announcement has, as always, sharply reacted to the defense ecosystem, for which the armies have no vocation, and especially no means, to carry out such a mission, especially since international tensions require concentration. of its resources halved over the last fifteen years, to protect the country and its interests.

“Like every time”, because such a hypothesis, consisting of relying on the armies to control juvenile delinquency, has been put forward several times in recent years. Thus, just over a year ago, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, also announced a similar measure in Mayotte, again to contain out-of-control youth.

If the idea is unearthed at each riot, despite the fierce opposition of the armies, it is not by chance. Indeed, a majority of French people seem to approve of the measure. More generally, the vast majority today are in favor of a return of a French institution until 1996, namely, the national service.

Indeed, in recent years, the numerous surveys commissioned on the subject have shown a growing number of favorable opinions concerning a return of the famous military service.

The French 75% in favor of a return to Military Service in the polls

One of the most recent, dating from winter 2023 and carried out by Ifop, shows that 75% of French people say they are in favor of its return by making Universal National Service compulsory , one of the flagship measures of the D' program. Emmanuel Macron in 2017, and one of the very rare campaign promises of the president in terms of defense, which will not have been kept.

Military service
The French national service had the function of preparing young men for possible mobilization in the event of a major conflict, in particular to face the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, numerically far superior to NATO.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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  1. Reading the article on the return of compulsory national service, I would first like to make the following comments:
    Yes to compulsory national service with four fundamental ideas:
    1) it must be universal and aimed at all young people between 17 and 23 years old
    2) he must be regional or national on a voluntary basis or level of responsibility or specialty
    3) he must convey strong ideas that can be qualified as a mission such as "preparing France for global warming", "defending France and its values fundamental (freedom of thought, tolerance and respect for others, in a word making citizens eventually soldiers), assistance to others by having functions similar to civil security » 4) being confined to relearn group life
    and esprit de corps


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