2015-02-22 There certainly is one country in the West which does not act like nuclear threats and challenges are at the bottom of the defense list.
France as a nuclear power — and which pays significantly for being one — has had a long standing concern with the nuclear threat.
Discussions in France clearly underscore continuing concern with the actions and capabilities of Russia as well as the rise of a new source of threat, namely a nuclear Iran.
In a visit to the Istres Air base, President Hollande delivered a clear statement of concern about global dynamics.
What is interesting is the very scant coverage of this speech except by those who saw it as a blow to the nuclear free world visit of President Obama.,
“The international context does not allow for weakness and demonstrates that the time of nuclear deterrence is not over.”
He warned that “there can be no question of lowering our guard in the area of nuclear deterrence.”
He also clearly indicated that France needed to modernize both its submarine deterrent fleet and its cruise missile strike force delivered by air.
Undoubtedly, that is why he chose to make the speech at the air base where the Mirages fly from to execute their nuclear mission.
For those who are not paying enough attention to the modernization of the nuclear deterrent, President Hollande warned:
“It is not enough to proclaim the objective of nuclear disarmament.”
And he warned of what one might call the dangers of the second nuclear age as well.
“The increase in the number of states possessing nuclear weapons is a major risk for peace.”
Nuclear is not a substitute for conventional forces and the President underscored that the French Air Force was involved globally dealiong with a diversity of threats.
“The French Air Force operates today in Africa and Iraq and contribute every day.”