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The French Senate launches a reflection on anti-missile defense

While anti-ballistic missile defense will be on the agenda of the NATO summit on November 19 and 20 in Lisbon, the French Senate has decided to look closely at the issue.

A first report (1) has just been published, written by Josselin de Rohan, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (UMP senator from Morbihan), entitled "the conditions for France's commitment to NATO's anti-ballistic missile defense". Result of several hearings of military and industrialists, it details in particular the stakes, military, economic and strategic as well as the risks of such an investment. Unsurprisingly, we will learn, that the senators approve such a project, but not without conditions (2).

A threat to be relativized

Even if the ballistic threat on national (French) or European territory is “ low currently, believes Senator Josselin de Rohan, it should not be neglected in the future. Today, indeed, it is heavier " on the forces deployed " outside. And the risk, today, is therefore more to be caught, by the interplay of alliances or by a direct attack from our forces, in the gears of a large-scale ballistic attack ". But, in the future, the rapid development of ballistic capabilities outside the circle of major powers » imposes to consider « other scenarios in which a potential adversary would use its ballistic capabilities to strike national territory directly ". And using the big nugget of nuclear deterrence would be a bit like swatting a fly with a big nugget. It therefore seems necessary to have an intermediate tool. And also, there is no denying it, this anti-missile defense is a “ powerful factor of technological development ».

Public hearing

But the Senate wants to go further. A public hearing will take place on the subject next Monday (November 15) at 21 p.m. And a fact-finding mission is launched. Three of its members, Xavier Pintat (UMP – Gironde), Daniel Reiner (PS – Moselle) and Jacques Gautier (UMP – Hauts-de-Seine) were thus asked to prepare a second report, on the "technological options to be favored in the case of a contribution in kind from France to NATO's anti-ballistic missile defense". Submission of the report: within six months at the latest ».

(1) Report to open here

(2) Read: The three conditions

(updated November 14)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on “The French Senate launches a reflection on anti-missile defense"

  • Readers may be interested.

    The Geostrategic Alliance (AGS), the first French blog platform dealing with defense issues and international relations, is organizing a debate to talk about Anti-Ballistic Missile Defence. We will receive Corentin BRUSTLEIN, researcher at IFRI and a great connoisseur of the debate. It will take place on Thursday, November 25 from 19 p.m. to 21 p.m. at the Concorde café in Paris.

    More info here

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