Since their early use for primitive ISR and combined operations, UAS have developed into increasingly multipurpose instruments performing a wide array of missions (from limited strike operations, search and monitoring to time-sensitive targeting) and offering new maneuver options to the armed...
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. The LRD’s analysis focuses on French forces first and foremost, as well as the militaries of their main allies.
La fin du régiment ? Trente ans de déstructuration de l'organisation tactique régimentaire Focus stratégique, No. 48, November 2013
The new organization of land forces breaks with a centuries-old tactical order: the regiment. Born out of political constraints that have shaped its history, the regimental order has accompanied the rise of the nation state; the Third Republic, for instance, entrusted it with political, social...
Drones-tueurs et éliminations ciblées : Les Etats-Unis contre Al-Qaïda et ses affiliés Focus stratégique, No. 47, October 2013
Armed drones - as they enable targeted killings - are henceforward playing a central role in American counterterrorism.
The IDF on All Fronts: Dealing with Israeli Strategic Uncertainty Focus stratégique, No. 45 bis, August 2013
Facing threats on all its borders as well as social, economic and religious tensions, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are now under significant pressure in accomplishing their core mission: the survival of the State of Israel.
Tsahal sur tous les fronts : L'armée israélienne dans l'incertitude stratégique Focus stratégique, No. 45, July 2013
Facing threats on all its borders, as well as social, economic and religious tensions, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is now under significant pressure for ensuring its core mission: the survival of the State of Israel.
Cyberspace, as a major but intricate field of action, represents both a challenge and a great strategic advantage. At a time when information technology affects all relationships at a global level, states are destabilized by growing dependence on computer data which puts their militaries at...
Defence Reform in the United Kingdom: A Twenty-First Century Paradox Focus stratégique, No. 43, March 2013
The context of budgetary constraint offered a strong incentive for the 2010 Coalition Government to improve its management of defence equipment.
Toujours plus chers ? Complexité des armements et inflation des coûts militaires Focus stratégique, No. 42, February 2013
While French military expenditures have remained relatively constant over the last ten years, equipment production tended to decrease, resulting in capability gaps. This situation highlights the increasing costs of both acquiring and maintaining highly complex modern military equipment. <...>
The 2011 insurgency in Libya brought about the demise of Supreme Leader Mouammar Qadhafi. A NATO-led coalition operated to meet a unique United Nations mandate including an arms embargo, no-fly zone, and the requirement to protect the population from armed attack.
The Defense Budget in France: Between Denial and Decline Focus stratégique, No. 36 bis, December 2012
Although defense spending is the fourth budget item in France, it is rarely a matter of public debate. During the past three decades, defense has been affected in turn by the desire to rip the benefit of the post-Cold War “peace dividend”, the professionalization of 1997, and the increase of...