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The magazine “Foreign Policy” calls on France to find its “grand strategy”
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The magazine “Foreign Policy” calls on France to find its “grand strategy”
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The review of reviews. How to give direction to French foreign policy? The presidential election should be the occasion for such a debate, especially since it is, according to the Constitution, the “reserved domain” of the Head of State and that he devotes a good part of his time. However, this is rarely the case even if, this year, due to the French presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months and the European commitment of Emmanuel Macron, the subject will be more present. In his last delivery, Foreign politicthe journal of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), devotes a rich file to it.

“In France, we live on a foreign policy which, after the collapse of the Second World War, has preserved to us the principles laid down by the IVand Republic (transatlantic link, European construction, permanent seat on the Security Council, nuclear weapons, etc.). Principles clarified and extended to a “Third World” dimension by de Gaulle then assumed by his successors”, notes Thierry de Montbrial.

The President of IFRI calls for a rethinking of France’s international action based on this heritage, but also on the observation “of a growing malaise due to internal fragmentation and a relative economic decline that obliterates our choices”. It is all the more urgent as “the United States will no longer be there tomorrow to protect us in all circumstances; we can no longer be satisfied with the magisterium of the word and symbolic means. »

Combination of seizures

The global situation is changing fast. “The uncontrollable combination of environmental, technological and geopolitical crises multiplies interdependencies and constraints”, add Thomas Gomart, director of IFRI, and Martin Briens, diplomat, stressing that “The confrontations will not only be military but will extend to all environments, real and virtual, while being able to remain below open conflict, in the shadow cast by nuclear power which is entering a new age”.

Looking ahead to 2050, the two authors want French diplomacy to move from foresight to what is called, in international relations, “grand strategy”., that is to say “produce security according to a vision of the world”. China wants to become the first world power and the United States is determined to stay at least primus inter pares on the world stage. France must also develop its strategy, in Europe and with Europe, but being aware that “the Union was not founded as a power and that there would be a dangerous illusion in believing that it could play the same game as Beijing or Washington”. Hence the need to bet jointly on the two levels, the European and the national, when the first gets bogged down.

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The magazine “Foreign Policy” calls on France to find its “grand strategy”
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