Specifics of French Nuclear Policy at the Beginning of the 21st Century

677
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-4-81-90
P. Timofeev (p.timofeyev@gmail.com),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. During the Cold War period, France as well as the USA and the USSR had its own nuclear triad consisted of strategic bombers (from 1964), ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines (from 1971). Today, only four nuclear submarines “Le Triomphant”, equipped with 16 ballistic missiles M 45 or M 51 that can be launched suddenly from the distance 6000-9000 meters provide nuclear deterrence and protect France’s independency. The second component of French nuclear forces are “Rafale” fighters: until 2023, France should have received 294 “Rafales”, including 60 as nuclear weapons carriers with ASMP-A missile. French nuclear strategy is reflected in two “White Books on the Defense”, published in 2008 and in 2013. According to it, the key change in the world is a deficit of stability: the world did not grow more stable, strategic uncertainty allows France to become a potential target for foreign missiles. Main threats for French interests are concentrated in an axis: Atlantic Ocean – Mediterranean Sea – Indian Ocean, the heart of communications between America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Five components of French nuclear strategy are forecasting, threat prevention, deterrence, defense of borders and intervention. Forecasting is considered to be a priority, but just in case nuclear forces could be used abroad in independent French operations and collective operations. French nuclear forces contribute in common defense concepts of the EU and NATO but their potential use is conditioned by a French president’s decisions in every case. After the end of the Cold War Russia was considered in Paris much more as a “disturbing neighbor” than as a “potential enemy”. While French experts had recommended to “hold and constantly enforce” relations with Russia, the Ukrainian crisis of 2014–2015 proved these wishes were not implemented. But even now it is hard to imagine France using its nuclear arsenal to press Moscow. After the end of the Cold War France reduced its nuclear arsenal. During 1992–2016, the number of nuclear warhead was reduced from 540 to 300. Paris pulled in financing of nuclear field, and after 1996 interrupted nuclear tests. At the same time, France cannot be considered as a strong follower of nuclear disarmament: Paris opposes not nuclear race, but enlargement of the “nuclear club”. 

Keywords: France, nuclear weapons, deterrence, disarmament, Russian-French relations, AMB, NATO, EU


REFERENCES

1. Mikhailov V.N., ed. Yadernoe oruzhie i natsional’naya bezopasnost’. [Nuclear Weapons and National Security]. Saransk, Krasnyi Oktyabr’, 2008. 217 p.

2. SIPRI Yearbook 2014. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Moscow, IMEMO, 2015. 764 p. (In Russ.) Available at: https://imemo.ru/files/File/ru/publ/2015/SIPRI-YEARBOOK-2014-RUS-final.pdf. (accessed 15.06.2016).

3. Wodka-Gallien Ph. Pérennité des forces aériennes stratégiques françaises. Revue Défense Nationale, 2014, Janvier, no. 766, . 91-97. Available at: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/231392/2580704/file/18%20%20Philippe%20Wodka-Gallien%20-%20Pe%CC%81rennite%CC%81%20des%20forces%20ae%CC%81riennes%20strate%CC%81giques.pdf (accessed 15.06.2016).

4. L’avenir des forces nucléaires françaises. Rapport d’information no. 668 (2011-2012) fait au nom de la commission des affaires étrangères et de la défense, déposé le 12 juillet 2012. Senat. fr. Available at: http://www.senat.fr/rap/r11-668/r11-668_mono.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

5. Hollande F. Discours sur la dissuasion nucléaire – Déplacement auprès des forces aériennes stratégiques. Istres (19 Février 2015). Available at: http://www.elysee.fr/declarations/article/discours-sur-la-dissuasion-nucleaire-deplacement-aupres-des-forces-aeriennes-strategiques-istres-3/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

6. French Nuclear Submarines Le Triomphant. Voennoe obozrenie, 04.03.2013 (In Russ.) Available at: http://topwar.ru/24938-le-triomphant.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

7. Vedernikov Yu. V. Krasnyi drakon: sovremenny voenno-morskie sily Kitaya. [Red Dragon: Contemporary Navy Forces of China]. Vladivostok, 2007. 140 p. Available at: http://www.abirus.ru/user/files/Military/RedDragon/RedDragon.pdf (accessed 15.06.2016).

8. Michaud Q. La future génération de sous-marins est en marche (22.05.2012). Available at: http://www.infosdefense.com/la-future-generation-de-sous-marins-est-en-marche-85698/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

9. Parc aérien de l’Aéronautique navale au 1er janvier 2011. Ministere de la defense (08.02.2011). Available at: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine/decouverte/equipements-moyens-materiel-militaire/aeronefs/parc-aerien-au-1er-janvier-2011 (accessed 15.06.2016).

10. Gannier A. L’Armée de l’Air en chiffres (2011). Available at: http://www.escadrilles.org/billets-et-analyses/armee-de-lair/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

11. “Charles de Gaulle”. A Disaster Ship. Voennoe obozrenie, 13.05.2013. (In Russ.) Available at: http://topwar.ru/27803-sharl-de-goll-korabl-katastrofa.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

12. Lert F. Dernier catapultage pour le Super Etendard (20.03.2016). Available at: http://www.aerobuzz.fr/defense/article/dernier-catapultage-pour-le-super (accessed 15.06.2016).

13. French Air Force Arms with First Rafale Fighter Having AESA. Lenta.ru, 23.09.2013 (In Russ.) Available at: http://lenta.ru/news/2013/09/23/aesa/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

14. National Holiday. Lenta.ru, 01.02.2012 (In Russ.) Available at: http://lenta.ru/articles/2012/02/01/rafale/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

15. Anichkina T.B., Esin V.I. Yadernyi arsenal Frantsii [France’s Nuclear Arsenal]. Rossiya i Amerika v XXI veke, 2014, no 1. Available at: http://www.rusus.ru/?act=read&id=398#_edn102 (accessed 15.06.2016).

16. Steuer G. Dissuasion: l’armée de l’Air réfléchit à un missile nucléaire hypersonique. 30.04.2014. Available at: http://www.air-cosmos.com/dissuasion-l-armee-de-l-air-reflechit-a-un-missile-nucleaire-hypersonique-22133 (accessed 15.06.2016).

17. Éditorial. Revue Defense Nationale. Available at: http://www.defnat.com/site_fr/sommaires/fs-article.php?carticle=16260 (accessed 15.06.2016).

18. Défense et Sécurité nationale. Le Livre blanc. Paris, Odile Jacob, 2008. 350 p. Available at: http://www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/var/storage/rapports-publics/084000341.pdf (accessed 15.06.2016).

19. Livre blanc sur la défense et la sécurité nationale‑2013. Paris, Direction de l’information légale et administrative, 2013. 160 p. Available at: http://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/206186/2286591/file/Livre-blanc-sur-la-Defense-et-la-Securite-nationale%202013.pdf (accessed 15.06.2016).

20. Soubrouillard R. La diplomatie française va dans le mur: merci Fabius? Le Monde, 10.02.2016. Available at: http://www.causeur.fr/diplomatie-fabius-royal-36623.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

21. De quoi l’arsenal nucléaire de la France est-il composé? Le Monde, 21.02.2015. Available at: http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2015/02/21/de-quoi-l-arsenal-nucleaire-de-la-france-est-il-compose_4580740_4355770.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

22. Buffotot P. L’inflexion de la doctrine française de dissuasion a l’aube du XXIe siècle. Le Centre Thucydide, . 406-414. Available at: http://www.afri-ct.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/26_Buffotot.pdf (accessed 15.06.2016).

23. Chirac J. Protéger nos intérêts vitaux. Le Monde, 19.01.2006. Available at: http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2006/01/19/proteger-nos-interets-vitaux_732429_3232.html (accessed 15.06.2016).

24. Press-conference after Russian-French Negotiations. Kremlin.ru, 01.03.2010 (In Russ.) Available at: http://www.kremlin.ru/transcripts/7006 (accessed 15.06.2016).

25. Klein J. La France et la defense antimissile. Politique etrangere, 2001, vol. 66, no 4, pp. 826-846. Available at: http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/polit_0032-342x_2001_num_66_4_5126 (accessed 15.06.2016).

26. Les membres de l’Otan s’accordent sur un bouclier antimissile. 20.11.2010. Available at: http://www.20minutes.fr/monde/625839-20101120-monde-les-membres-otan-accordent-bouclier-antimissile (accessed 15.06.2016).

27. Otan: La défense antimissile répond à la menace iranienne, affirme Sarkozy. 20.11.2010. Available at: http://www.20minutes.fr/monde/625891-20101120-monde-otan-defense-antimissile-repond-menace-iranienne-affirme-sarkozy (accessed 15.06.2016).

28. Boniface P. Un bouclier antimissile contre l’Iran, un système contraire à l’idée de dissuasion. 22.02.2012. Available at: http://www.iris-france.org/un-bouclier-antimissile-contre-liran-un-systme-contraire-lide-de-dissuasion/ (accessed 15.06.2016).

29.  SPIRALE (The French Spaceborne Early Warning Demonstrator) Mission. Available at: https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/spirale (accessed 21.12.2016).

30. Hynik N., Stritecky V., Ditrych O. Missile defence in Europe: strategic, political and industrial implications. European Parliament, 2011. 47 p. Available at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2011/433827/EXPO-SEDE_ET(2011)433827_EN.pdf (accessed 21.12.2016).

31.  Hollande F. Conférence de presse du président de la République lors du Sommet de l’OTAN. Varsovie, 09.07.2016. Available at: http://www.elysee.fr/conferences-de-presse/article/conference-de-presse-du-president-de-la-republique-lors-du-sommet-de-l-otan/ (accessed 21.12.2016).

32. Quilès P. Dissuasion nucléaire: abandonner les mythes. 18.02.2015. Available at: http://www.marianne.net/agora-dissuasion-nucleaire-abandonner-les-mythes-100231426.html (accessed 15.06.2016) 


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Timofeev P. Specifics of French Nuclear Policy at the Beginning of the 21st Century. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 4, pp. 81-90. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-4-81-90



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies

 

Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 5
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Are There Any Ways to Break Through the Korean Nuclear Impasse?
  • Contemporary U.S. Taiwan Policy: Balancing on the Edge
  • The Gulf Monarchies’ Vision of the Global Order Transformations and the Russian Place in It
  • At Post-Soviet Space
Submit an Article
INVITATION FOR PUBLICATION
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.