In Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron maintains his call to work with Moscow

The French president urged his counterpart in Vilnius to “dispassionate” issues related to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, in Rukla, Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda, review a French battalion of the Reinforced Advanced Force (eFP) deployed by NATO, since 2016, in the three Baltic Republics.
Tuesday, in Rukla, Lithuania, Emmanuel Macron, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Gitanas Nauseda, review a French battalion of the Reinforced Advanced Force (eFP) deployed by NATO, since 2016, in the three Baltic Republics. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Special envoy to Vilnius

Emmanuel Macron understands “The aspiration to freedom, peace and security” of the Baltic Republics after forty-five years under Soviet rule. “Your country, he summed up Monday evening during his press conference with President Gitanas Nauseda, did not have the same XXe century than mine “ and “The post-WWII period lasted a long time there.” However, on the first evening of his visit to Lithuania and Latvia, the French president reaffirmed his wish to “Work with Russia”. A year ago, the three Baltic republics gave a cold reception to his plan to establish a “Strategic dialogue” with the Kremlin. But the French president, who came to report to his hosts on this so far unsuccessful approach, does not intend to give it up. “The other, he told them, can always improve. “

This visit, the first by a French president since that of Jacques Chirac in 2001, takes place in an atmosphere un

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How Macron is waging his secret wars

INVESTIGATION – Since his election, the President has launched increasingly offensive military operations and authorizes serial “neutralizations”. Our collaborator Vincent Nouzille investigated this top secret facet of presidential action.

By Vincent Nouzille

Emmanuel Macron, May 14, 2019, during the tribute ceremony to the two special forces soldiers who died on May 10 during an operation in Burkina Faso.
Emmanuel Macron, May 14, 2019, during the tribute ceremony to the two special forces soldiers who died on May 10 during an operation in Burkina Faso. Jacques Witt / SIPA

It was a summery, but chilling defense council. On August 11, 2020, from Fort Brégançon, President Emmanuel Macron meets by videoconference with his Prime Minister Jean Castex, the royal ministers, the chief of staff of the armed forces and the bosses of the intelligence services. The agenda is serious, mourning the murder, on August 9, of eight people, two Nigerians and six French members of the NGO Acted, in the Kouré reserve, near Niamey, in Niger. A real massacre committed by men arriving on motorcycles.

Until now, this area still seemed protected from repeated attacks by jihadist groups who have spread their guerrillas in several countries of the Sahel. The 5,100 French soldiers of Operation Barkhane have increased for six months the lightning operations aimed at weakening the two main rival nebulae, the GSIM (Support Group for Islam and Muslims), linked to al-Qaida, and the EIGS (Islamic State in the Great Sahara), affiliated with Daesh, in particular

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a fortress inspired by the military genius of Vauban to stop Islamist terrorism

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – On the border with Niger, France has built an outpost considered impregnable.

By LENA

Labbezanga, where an outpost considered impregnable has been built, is located 200 kilometers from the Gao military base, where more than 5,000 soldiers from Operation “Barkhane” are deployed.
Labbezanga, where an outpost considered impregnable has been built, is located 200 kilometers from the Gao military base, where more than 5,000 soldiers from Operation “Barkhane” are deployed. BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Par Pietro Del Re, correspondant to Bamako (The Republic)

To defend the village of Labbezanga, located on the border between Mali and Niger, from jihadist offensives, the French have just built an outpost considered impregnable. To do this, they were inspired by the fortifications built by their ancestors during the Renaissance period, including the Citadel of Besançon, the Tour Vauban (initially Tour de Camaret) or the Fort Carré d’Antibes, buildings which are all listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and were all built by France’s most famous military engineer, the Marquis Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. In Labbezanga, this return to the past has a specific objective: to resist the Islamist phalanges in a portion of the desert where militiamen affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State swarm, an area located 200 kilometers from the Gao military base, where the more than 5000 soldiers of Operation “Barkhane”, sent by Paris are deployed

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European defense, victim of the compromise

DECRYPTION – All the levers that could have contributed to forging a Europe of defense have been reduced to a minimum.

The most symbolic effort has focused on the European Defense Fund, pushed by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, to lay the foundations for a common policy.
The most symbolic effort has focused on the European Defense Fund, pushed by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, to lay the foundations for a common policy. JOHN THYS / AFP

We had to make concessions. All the instruments that could have contributed to forging a Europe of defense were reduced to a minimum at the end of the marathon summit which ended on Tuesday morning. Financial volumes were halved. “Between the initial project and the summit, there was a global pandemic, to which we had to respond quickly and strongly”, justifies the former minister and MEP Nathalie Loiseau. The president of the defense sub-committee in the European Parliament nevertheless wants to be satisfied “From a first step” which allows “a qualitative leap “. The Ministry of the Armed Forces also wants to believe in the overall virtue of compromise.

The most symbolic effort has focused on the European Defense Fund, pushed by the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, to lay the foundations for a common policy. It will only amount to 7 billion euros over seven years. This sum, proposed in January, had been judged “unacceptable” by the government. An envelope of

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In the Mediterranean Sea, France withdrew from Turkey

To protest against the violations of the arms delivery embargo on Libya, Paris announced the “temporary” withdrawal of the maritime resources brought to the NATO operation “Sea Guardian”.

Mobilized as part of the “Sea Guardian” operation, the frigate Courbet left the harbor of Toulon in May.  Off the coast of Libya, on June 10, the French vessel was the target of an
Mobilized as part of the “Sea Guardian” operation, the frigate Courbet left the harbor of Toulon in May. Off the coast of Libya, on June 10, the French vessel was the target of an “illumination” on the part of Turkish ships escorting a suspicious cargo ship. ABC/Andia.fr/ABC/Andia.fr

In its showdown with Turkey in the Mediterranean, France lost a round. From now on, Turkish ships will be able to come and go almost freely off the coast of Libya, under the helpless gaze of France. “Six months ago, we should have reacted”, sighs an officer, in a statement of failure. To mark its protest against the double play of Turkey, accused of violating the embargo on arms deliveries to Libya, the Ministry of the Armed Forces confirmed on Wednesday the information of L’Opinion and announced the withdrawal “temporary” maritime resources provided to the “Sea Guardian” operation. For Paris, Turkey delivers weapons to the Government of national unity of Fayez al-Sarraj, opposed to the troops of General Haftar, while participating in the NATO operation supposed to enforce the embargo.

“The enlightenment” of the frigate Courbet, on June 10 by three Turkish ships escorting a suspicious freighter, was the incident too many. Especially since it remained unanswered. “We are

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In the name of resilience, the military defends their budget and prepares for the post-Covid world

Inevitably, the coronavirus will upset the international security balance.

The Suffren (here July 12, 2019), the first of six nuclear attack submarines in the new Barracuda program.
The Suffren (here July 12, 2019), the first of six nuclear attack submarines in the new Barracuda program. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

The Suffren, the first of six nuclear attack submarines in the new Barracuda program carried out its first sea trial off Cherbourg in late April. In Saint-Nazaire on the shipyards, Monday, the Minister of the Armies Florence Parly fixed the horizon to equip the navy with a new aircraft carrier. “This is where the new generation aircraft carrier that will succeed the Charles-de-Gaulle in 2038 with 2036 in sight for the first sea trials ”, she said.

During the coronavirus epidemic, armies appear to be continuing their journey. Yet the beginning economic crisis threatens all of its postponement or delay programs “Inevitable”, they say within the armies. So the soldiers prepare their arguments to defend their missions.

“In a post-crisis Covid-19 world that is even more dangerous, given the violent behavior of certain regional players, a likely precipitous American withdrawal and Chinese activism”, it will not

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industrialists want a recovery

Very affected by the Covid-19 crisis, aeronautics, military naval and land armaments asked to be part of the recovery plans in France and in Europe.

Éric Trappier (here in September 2019), president of Gifas and CEO of Dassault Aviation *, builder of the Rafale fighter plane.
Éric Trappier (here in September 2019), president of Gifas and CEO of Dassault Aviation *, builder of the Rafale fighter plane. ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

All lined up to lead the charge. The presidents of the employers’ organizations of aeronautics, naval navy and the land armament plead with one voice so that the defense industry is part of the recovery plans in France, but also in Europe. “It is absolutely fundamental”, they said during a hearing before the defense committee of the National Assembly.

The objective is to preserve the Defense Industrial and Technological Base (BITD) with its tens of thousands of highly qualified jobs, distributed throughout the territory and along the coast. Alone, the 400 aeronautical companies members of the Grouping of French aeronautical and space industries (Gifas) employ 200,000 people. The naval sector employs 40,000 people and those working on land, 20,000. Without forgetting the employees of thousands of SMEs and VSEs, including many technological nuggets.

It is also about ensuring the armies, oversold inside

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Corona cases covered up on the “Charles de Gaulle” aircraft carrier?


Soldiers in protective suits go to the aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” for disinfection in the port of Toulon.
Picture: EPA

Crew members of the aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” report that the French army command knew of corona cases on board the ship, but refused to return to their home port. A commission should investigate the allegations.

DThe French nuclear force is currently only partially operational. The entire crew of the aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” has to remain in quarantine due to the corona pandemic. The nuclear powered ship is disinfected in the home port in Toulon. 1081 of the 2010 soldiers serving on the aircraft carrier and escort frigate were infected with the corona virus. Defense Secretary Florence Parly confirmed this at a hearing before the National Assembly Defense Committee. All soldiers had been tested, 24 of them were being treated in the army hospital in Toulon. Half of the soldiers who tested positive had no or very little symptoms. The army leadership is criticized because it is said to have reacted to the pandemic late and then negligently.

The aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” is an important element of the French nuclear force “Force de frappe”. Rafale MF3-type carrier aircraft that can be equipped with nuclear weapons take off from the aircraft carrier. Two internal investigations by the armed forces are now to clarify how the mass infection on board could have occurred. An investigation should focus on the health aspects and trace the contagion chains. The second investigation is politically explosive: it is intended to clarify whether the command chain has failed.

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