The new French Defense and National Security White Paper has been released on April 29. No major surprise at all inside, but more truth and pragmatism. Mostly confirmations of previous trends and thoughts but no revolutions: reasonable ambitions (a good point, in some respects... just in some respects), a set of cuts (more or less dramatic) across military capabilities and several issues remain with regards to the actual level of funds.
A new capstone document without surprises.
1/ No “Asia Pivot” strategy, but a less attractive buzzword: “Euro-Atlantic-African Pivot”, with a focus on the Atlantic area and on Europe’s larger neighborhood, including the Sahel. Despite the fact that France wants to contribute to the global peace and security, we have no longer means and no enough ambition to be a global power. Pre-positioning bases (Djibouti, Abu Dhabi, N’Djamena…) and sovereignty forces in the overseas departments will just evolve (less troops, more security force assistance and regional cooperation), but no closure.