Keyword: Jean-Yves Le Drian
More than 50 years after granting its colonial empire independence, it seems Paris cannot keep its nose out of Africa, argues Newsweek's Brian Eads.
The French government last week announced major cuts in defence spending which include the axing next year of 7,500 jobs in its armed forces, the subsequent closure of several military bases, the scrapping of an artillery regiment and the decommissioning of several warships. "The sovereignty of our country depends as much on tackling our public accounts as on our defence," said defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as he detailed the cull on October 15th. But the minister is also under intense pressure over the massive, budget-busting spending of ongoing French military operations abroad, principally in West and Central Africa, and now also against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on the opaque funding of the campaigns, including the indirect contribution of the French education ministry, and Le Drian’s controversial and urgent plans to set up public-private partnerships to finance French defence procurement through leasing deals.
Defense secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed talks over potential French involvement in the US-led campaign against IS in Syria.
Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says that the gathering chaos in the North African country means it is becoming a 'terrorist hub'.
The new operation, codenamed Barkhan, will start soon in the largely lawless Sahel in partnership with five countries from the African region.
Defence minister says the mission of the soldiers will be to fight Islamist militias and other armed groups in north Mali, northern Niger and Chad.
The death brings total number of French soldiers killed in Mali to eight since France launched military operations in the country in January 2013.
Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian presents 36-page report and says there will be 'zero tolerance' for assaults and harassment of women recruits.
France will also offer to send four fighter jets to Baltic states to boost NATO air patrols over the region should the military alliance request them.
French defence and foreign ministers 'strongly' urge EU members to do more, saying military contributions so far 'fall short' of what is needed.
Jean-Yves Le Drian starts a tour of the region to discuss the crisis in Central African republic (CAR) as fresh wave of violence erupts.
Measures include roll-outs of secure telephones, encryption technology and network surveillance to protect computer systems exposed to hacking.
Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says UN will probably have to extend France's military mandate in the country when it expires in May.
In visit to capital Bangui, defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian insists French mission in Central African Republic will be a success 'like Mali'.