Publié le 18/12/2017


The ability to penetrate remote and contested theaters of operation is a crucial asset for any expeditionary military power.

France’s ambition to autonomously conduct entry operations is central to its defense policy and singular among Western countries. This stems from an array of historical, political and military factors, among which the will to attain strategic autonomy was and remains critical. During recent operations, France demonstrated the extent to which it has a set of unique capabilities and know-how, even amongst European states. These assets increase French freedom of action during foreign operations and strengthen its leverage in multinational campaigns. However, the spread of increasingly sophisticated weapon systems, such as anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities, undermines the French ability to operate autonomously. Hedging against this trend requires increased resources and tailored capability developments, in order to prevent France from losing strategic credibility, leverage, and autonomy.


This report was originally published in French in November 2016; its translation has been updated and published in December 2017.