2015-11-17 President Hollande has responded decisively against ISIS.
“France is at war.”
“The acts committed Friday night in Paris at the Stade de France are acts of war.
“We must respond with cold determination to the attack that our country was a target of.”
He underscored that the Islamic State terrorists likely targeted France because it’s a country defined by liberty and democracy.
“Our democracy stands more true than these assassins.”
“We are not engaged in a war of civilization, because the terrorists do not belong to any civilization.”
He repeated France’s call to arms and applauded the resilience of the French people.
“I’m calling again on our compatriots to take this opportunity to show our country’s honor, lucidity, and dignity.
“[They] are ardent, courageous people who stand up every time.”
Policemen have gone “beyond themselves” to protect the people, Hollande added.
“Our enemy in Syria is Daesh, so it’s not about containing but about destroying this organization to save the populations of Syria and Iraq, but also Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and neighboring countries.
It’s also to protect us, to prevent this from happening on our soil.”
He said it’s a fight against terror on a global scale, and a war that will need “patience” as “[t]errorists are threatening the entire world, not just France.”
“Our enemy disposes of the most vile tactics to kill, but the enemy is not out of reach,” Hollande said.
“Their crime reinforces our determination to destroy them.”
France started by air strikes against known strongholds of ISIS in Syria.
And France has committed financial resources to stepping up the war as well.
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
France has invoked emergency powers to sweep aside EU deficit rules and retake control over its economy after the terrorist atrocities in Paris, pledging a massive in increase and security and defence spending whatever the cost.
President Francois Hollande said vital interests of the French nation are at stake and there can be no further justification for narrowly-legalistic deficit rules imposed by Brussels. “The security pact takes precedence over the stability pact. France is at war,” he told the French parliament.
Defence cuts have been cancelled as far out as 2019 as the country prepares to step up its campaign to “eradicate” ISIS, from the Sahel in West Africa, across the Maghreb, to Syria and Iraq.
At least 17,000 people will be recruited to beef up the security apparatus and the interior ministry, fast becoming the nerve centre of the country’s all-encompassing war against the ISIS network.
The new forces include 5,000 new police and gendarmes, 1,000 customs officials, and 2,500 prison guards. “I assume it will lead to an increase in expenses,” he said.
The combined effect amounts to a fiscal stimulus and may ultimately cushion the economic damage of terrorist attacks for the tourist industry, but the “rearmament” drive spells the end of any attempt to meet deficit limit of 3pc of GDP enshrined in the Stability and Growth Pact. With France in open defiance, the reconstituted pact is now effectively dead.
The European Commission expects the French deficit to be 3.4pc of GDP next year and 3.3pc in 2017, but the real figure is likely to be much higher and will last through to the end of the decade. The concern is that this could push the country’s debt yet higher from 96.5pc of GDP to nearer 100pc, made worse by the effects of deflation on debt dynamics.
Mr Hollande said France will invoke article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty, the solidarity clause obliging other member states to come to his country’s help by “all means in their power”. It would be beyond parody for Brussels to continue insisting on budget rules in such a political context.
Hollande is shaping a new approach in the Middle East to support the war against Isis.
He has recognized that working with Assad is better than failure to focus on ISIS.
And working with the Russians is clearly part of the strategy as they are players in Syria, in the Middle East and are working new relationships with Israel and Jordan as well.
According to an article by Eric Maurice in the EuObserver:
“The enemy is Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic name for the Islamic State group.
“We shall not just contain it, but destroy it,” he said, adding that France will “intensify its operations” in Syria following Monday’s raids.
Hollande also wants to build “a large and unique coalition” against the terrorist group.
He announced that France has asked for a meeting and a resolution from the UN Security Council.
He also said that he will soon meet US and Russian presidents, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, “to join our forces and reach a conclusion that has been too long overdue.”
“We are not in a war of civilisations, because they [the terrorists] don’t have any,” Hollande said.
France was attacked, he said, because “it is the land of freedom and of human rights.”
“Terrorists believe that people will allow themselves to be impressed by horror,” he said. “That is not the case,” he assured the parliamentarians. “They are the ones who will go down in history as the losers.”
“We shall continue to work, go out, live and influence the world,” he said, adding that the UN climate conference will still take place in Paris in December.
“French killed French,” he told parliamentarians.
“The France that assassins wanted to kill is youth in all its diversity,” he said. “The only crime of these young people [who were killed] was to live.”
Much like Bush lead in dealing with 9/11 and expected others to support his efforts, President Hollande is taking the same tack.
And he is looking for internal security reforms, European wide changes and coalition shifting in the Middle East to get serious about destroying the infrastructure of ISIS.