French Exception or Western Variation? A Historical Look at the French Irregular Way of War Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 40, n° 4, 2017, p. 554-576.
This article aims at challenging the notion of a French exception in the realm of irregular warfare, suggesting that it rather amounts to a western variation.
Born out of a transatlantic community under British influence, the French irregular experience carried on through the early Cold War challenges, strengthening France’s ties with its Western allies. France’s subsequent involvement in post-colonial counter-insurgencies did contribute to generating some specific strategic features, although never totally disconnected from international circulation. Finally, the post-Cold War order significantly drove French irregular warfare back into its Western fold through the adoption of US- and NATO-sponsored concepts and doctrines, thus enhancing interoperability and some degree of standardisation.
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