After a decade of abstaining from major conflicts, plans are changing and the French armed forces are preparing for a high-intensity war. A stunning document issued by the French military cites Russia and Turkey as potential war adversaries and what it says about casualties is nothing short of sickening.
General Thierry Burkhard, head of the French army, described the need for France to prepare for high-intensity wars between states.
The document, which outlines what French military planners see in the near future makes clear: "In the forests and plains of the Champagne-Ardenne region, where the great powers once went into battle, the French armed forces are beginning to prepare for the return of a great armed conflict."
It all began in January.
In January, the General Staff set up ten working groups to examine the country's readiness for a high-intensity war.
The groups set up look at everything from ammunition shortages to societal resilience, including whether citizens are "ready to accept casualties."
The military pulls no punches; the document goes on to say:
"There is 100% probability of a "major military involvement" with the result that "society must be prepared for a level of casualties that it has never seen since the Second World War".
Apart from Russia, the document mentions Turkey as a potential enemy, while the Mediterranean and Africa are mentioned as places of conflict beyond Europe.
The ghost of a great war is now so prevalent in French military thought that the script has its own acronym: Major Engagement Scenario.
The alleged opponents are anonymous, but analysts point out that it is not only Russia, but also Turkey and a North African country.
Apart from Eastern Europe, France is increasingly occupied in the south.
In the eastern Mediterranean, France and Turkey clashed over Libya, Syria and Cyprus, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to send two warplanes and a frigate into Greek waters last August.
In addition, France also participates in the Indo-Pacific, where its overseas territories include 1.6 million French citizens and 7,000 soldiers. France had a stable naval presence in the region.
The result is that the Navy has only 15 surface units to deal with all these issues, says Admiral Pierre Vandier, Commander of the French Navy.
In mid-March, twelve French tanks, 160 armored vehicles and 300 troops arrived in Estonia. It was the last French contribution to the NATO battle groups stationed in Poland and the Baltic states.
French President Macron recently referred to NATO as being "brain dead." It now seems clear France is taking bold steps to prepare for that reality . . . and for a 100% probability of a major war with casualties not seen since World War 2.
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