Études de l'Ifri Focus Stratégique

La Sentinelle égarée ? L’armée de Terre face au terrorisme Focus stratégique, No. 68, June 2016

The 2015 terror attacks in France and the ensuing activation by the Ministry of Defense of its homeland protection plan opened a new phase in the long history of the French Army’s involvement in internal security.


Operation Sentinelle mobilizes 10,000 men, i.e. 10% of the Army’s total force. While initially planned to be short-term, this deployment proved long-lasting; it is now putting pressure on the Army’s human resources and complex training cycles. It also raises the issue of the coordination with the law enforcement forces, with the risk of turning the Army into a police auxiliary force, which would inevitably lead to a loss of its specific skills and last resort function. In order to make homeland security duties sustainable for the land forces, French authorities will need to reevaluate in depth the current balance between defense and security.

This content is available in French: La Sentinelle égarée ? L’armée de Terre face au terrorisme

Forces armées sécurité intérieure Terrorisme France