Defense Research Unit
Western armies today face a triple challenge. First, they have been involved in “wars amongst populations” for twenty-five years, having to cope with failed states, fractured societies, and irregular adversaries. Counterinsurgency (COIN) may be out of fashion, but stabilization operations remain as complex as ever. Whether for maintaining peace or countering an insurrection, military intervention cannot deliver victory on its own, yet other “global approach” actors are often either absent or ineffective, not to mention the lack of political support and the constraints posed by permanent pressure from the media.
Meanwhile, Western forces must retain the ability to conduct high-intensity operations when fighting symmetric or hybrid adversaries that benefit from training and advanced weapons. The constituent parts of military transformation tend to spread to regional powers. Accordingly, our defense systems have to stay in the technological race and incorporate into their equipments and doctrines the multiple innovations fostered by progress in intelligence gathering and miniaturisation (sensors, networks, robotics, precision ammunition, etc.).
Remaining full spectrum is also a challenge as our militaries face unprecedented constraints in terms of numbers and budgets. in addition, operational tempo has increased and enemies have toughened. The armed forces are thus being asked to achieve more with less. The political and budgetary context, especially in Europe, is likely to limit the size of militaries and the conditions of their use. It is therefore necessary in the short term to offer solutions for optimization and set the stage for a necessary military build up in the future. Established within Ifri’s Security Studies Center, the Defense Research Unit - LRD’s analysis focuses on French forces first and foremost, as well as the militaries of their main allies.
La paix par la force. La modernisation de la défense sud-coréenne sous la présidence Moon Jae-in Notes de l'Ifri, May 2022
South Korea's defense modernization plan, Defense Reform 2.0, represents a significant effort in terms of military capabilities since 2018. The outgoing president, Moon Jae-in, has placed particular emphasis on high-tech acquisition as well as transforming the Korean defense...
Vers une guerre des normes ? Du lawfare aux opérations juridiques Focus stratégique, No. 108, April 2022
The number of small satellites in orbit has increased rapidly over the last decade, and the growth of this sector is expected to accelerate even more in coming years.
Le cloud défense : défi opérationnel, impératif stratégique et enjeu de souveraineté Focus stratégique, No. 107, November 2021
Cloud computing – or data management – is considered as one of the pillars of the digital transformation of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
The increasing autonomy and digitization of battlefields implies a re-examination of Man Machine Teaming (MMT). While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significant benefits, the human cognitive system remains unique until this day. Nonetheless, as demonstrated by the “centaur” approach, man...
Hypersonic Weapons: What Are the Challenges for the Armed Forces? Briefings de l'Ifri, June 18, 2021
Hypersonic systems are becoming attributes of power for the states that design and implement them, at the risk of reviving an arms race.
La Guerre de vingt ans was awarded the Prize for the best book on geopolitics in 2021.
Complementarity or Competition? Franco-British Cooperation and the European Horizon of French Defense Policy Focus stratégique, No. 96 bis, April 2021
What does future hold for the Franco-British defense partnership after Brexit?
Cyber-influence : les nouveaux enjeux de la lutte informationnelle Focus stratégique, No. 104, March 2021
The coming of age of a digital “info sphere” has dramatically changed the nature of military information support strategy.
A "Les Jeudis de l'Ifri" videoconférence around Corentin BRUSTLEIN, Director of Ifri's Security Studies Center.
Landpower has long been dissociated from "strategic forces", as these generally refer to long-range and/or high-yield strike capabilities.However, the recent military commitments contest this notion and highlight the current and future strategic value of landpower.
This event will cross various perspectives on the strategic rationale behind capacity-building efforts, assess current and future challenges to those endeavors, and provide an overview of how the European Union and France implement it in the field and in...
De retour d'une tournée de six semaines en Irak et en Afghanistan, Montgomery McFate, anthropologue à l'origine du HTS et le Colonel Steve Fondacaro, directeur du programme HTS, présenteront les principes et les résultats de ce programme.
Sentinel represents a watershed development in French military operations. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the number of French army soldiers actively deployed in metropolitan France roughly equals that of overseas operations. But the military establishment here is far...
The alliance is struggling to assemble four battalions to safeguard its eastern flank from a possible Russian attack. In addition, many member states are falling short of their...
One week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, the police killed two jihadists in Belgium. Officials said that the two men were coming back from Syria and were on the brink of targeting Brussels. The capital of Belgium was already targeted a few months ago: in May 2014,...