Armed forces of the French Republic - the formation of the French Republic , created for the armed defense of its interests and territories , including overseas .
|French Armed Forces|
Forces armées françaises
|Divisions||French Ground Forces|
French naval forces
French Air Force
National Gendarmerie of France
|Minister of Defense||Florence Parley|
|Head of Army Headquarters||Francois Lecuantre|
|Military age||18 years with consent to military service (2001)|
|Conscription Duration||The call is canceled in 1997|
|Free population||13 676 509 (2005 estimate)|
|Suitable for military service||11 262 661 (estimate 2005) people.|
|Entering draft age annually||389 206 (2005 estimate)|
|Employed in the army||14%|
|Budget||32 billion euros (2009)|
|GNP interest||1.7% (2008) (without gendarmerie)|
|Domestic suppliers||French military-industrial complex|
|Annual export||Orders worth 5.66 billion euros (2007)|
Deliveries at 4.81 billion (2007)
|Story||Military history of France|
|Ranks||Ranks of the French Army|
In general, France is one of the few countries whose armed forces have an almost complete range of modern weapons and military equipment of its own production - from small arms to nuclear attack aircraft carriers (which, except France, only the United States has ).
France from April 4, 1949 was a member of the military-political Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO).
In July 1966, France withdrew from the NATO military organization, while remaining a member of the political structure of the North Atlantic Treaty. In 2009, she returned to military structures. France is also a member of the Nuclear Club .
In 2003, the second part of the armed forces reform, launched in 1996, was completed in France. As part of this reform, conscription was canceled in peacetime and a transition to hired ( recruitment ), less numerous, but more effective (according to some) army, aviation and navy. The reform should last until 2015  . The total number of the French armed forces decreased from 550,000 in 1989 to 499,000 in 1996 and 256,000 in the early 2000s (in the early 2000s, another 82,000 were civilian personnel)  .
For 2018, it ranks fifth in the ranking of the world's strongest armies after the US , Russian , Chinese and Indian forces  .
- Minimum Military Recruitment Age: 17 years
- Maximum Age of Recruitment: 40 years
- Missing call
- Available military manpower: 13,676,509
- Full military personnel: 320,000, by 2020 will decrease to 225,000 
- Annual military spending: $ 74,690,470,000 (2.6% of GDP)
- Affordable purchasing power : $ 2,067,000,000,000
- Reported Gold Reserves: $ 98,240,000,000
- Total labor force: 27,760,000
- The most feminized army, aviation and navy in Western Europe (more than 14% of employees are women)
On the eve of World War I, France had the largest army in Europe (including colonial troops) - 882 907 people  . This was facilitated by the law of August 7, 1913, which increased the service life from 2 to 3 years and reduced the draft age from 21 years to 20 years  .
French Armed Forces
- French Ground Forces or the Army (including naval units, Foreign Legion , light aircraft)
- French Navy or National Navy (including Navy Air Force)
- French Air Force (including air defense)
- National Gendarmerie of France (serves as the national rural police and military police for all the French Armed Forces). Its area of competence includes coastal zones, rivers, rural areas, as well as cities with a population of less than 10,000 people.
- The elite structure of the Armed Forces is the medical service of the French Armed Forces , which provides medically all four types of the Armed Forces.
France's nuclear arsenal
France is a possessor of nuclear weapons . The official position of the French government has always been the creation of a "limited nuclear arsenal at the minimum necessary level." To date, this level is 4 strategic submarine missile carriers and about 100 aircraft with nuclear missiles.
Nuclear weapons are the guarantor of France’s security. Developed in 1960 , it has become the main instrument of security policy and foreign policy. France’s nuclear forces include air, sea and ground components , which in turn are divided into strategic and sub-strategic (tactical) forces. Ballistic missiles mounted on the mainland and on submarines, as well as nuclear bombs with which the Mirage IV strategic bombers were equipped, were considered strategic. Pre-strategic forces included: ASMP missiles that armed the Dassault Mirage 2000 and Super Etandar aircraft. Pre-strategic forces had to deliver the first blow to the enemy to show the seriousness of intentions, otherwise strategic forces had to be used. It follows that the nuclear doctrine of France contained the principles of the concept of "flexible response", allowing you to choose one or another type of weapon depending on the nature of the threat.
- The first and most important principle of the nuclear doctrine was that the French nuclear weapons during the Cold War were one of the elements of NATO’s nuclear deterrence, but the peculiarity was that France should act independently of NATO, primarily based on its own own interests.
- The second principle, arising from the first, was based on the fact that France, unlike the United States, did not clearly determine against whom and in what case the nuclear potential would be used. This created conditions of some uncertainty, which, according to French strategists, was supposed to strengthen the general system of deterrence.
- The third principle was based on the guarantee of causing significant damage to the "weak (France) - strong (USSR and Warsaw Pact organizations )" in the event of a nuclear conflict.
- The fourth principle was called the "principle of deterrence in all directions", suggesting that the nuclear forces of the Fifth Republic could cause unacceptable damage to any enemy.
Most of the top officials in France, starting with C. de Gaulle and ending with N. Sarkozy , stated that nuclear weapons are the basis of the independence of the Fifth Republic in making foreign policy and strategic decisions. France was also called the “nuclear monarchy” ( monarchie nucleaire ), since decision-making on the problems of nuclear weapons is completely the prerogative of the country's president. France’s nuclear policy was developed in the late 1950s and 1960s and until the end of the Cold War no significant changes were made. It was based on general consensus on nuclear doctrine and on the need to possess nuclear weapons in general. The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Warsaw Pact Organization caused not only the need to revise nuclear policy, but also to adjust the structure of nuclear weapons themselves.
In the 1990s , with the end of the Cold War, France’s nuclear arsenal was seriously reduced. Several nuclear programs were phased out and ground-based missiles on the Plateau eliminated. The number of delivery vehicles  from 1991 to 1997 decreased from 250 to 100 units . And in 1998, France ratified the protocol banning all types of nuclear tests .
|History of the French Army|
|Army of the West Frankish Kingdom|
|French revolutionary army|
|French Army of the Second Empire|
|French Armed Forces|
The White Paper is the name of the French doctrine on defense and national security.
In 1994, a new “White Paper on Defense” was published in France, the task of which was to develop a new strategic concept. The White Paper indicates new circumstances in connection with which the military doctrine must be reviewed: "the unpredictability and complex nature of possible conflicts, geographical remoteness, and the danger posed by the proliferation of WMD." In addition, French troops must be prepared to conduct operations in remote regions of the world, together with various coalitions. An interesting fact is that in the White Paper it was noted that at that time France did not have the means to carry out such operations. Thus, the book indirectly confirmed that France depended on its allies and primarily on the United States, as the Gulf War showed. The new concept was mainly aimed at resolving and preventing regional conflicts. To prevent conflicts, a long-term presence of the armed forces in the conflict region, international cooperation, as well as a demonstration of force were assumed. It was separately indicated that any operation can be started only with the condition of having a UN mandate. And, in any case, the war should not result in an expensive and protracted.
Also, a separate place in the book is devoted to the threats of the proliferation of weapons, including missiles (as Colonel A. Fort-Dufurmantel spoke about earlier). However, it was decided to develop only air defense systems , since France did not have missile defense systems .
The 1994 White Paper marked a major change in France’s military policy and was a timely response to a change in the strategic situation after the end of the Cold War . Its provisions were mainly aimed at supporting those forces that would contribute to the activity of the French armed forces in regional conflicts. But, of course, such a change in military doctrine required the modernization of the armed forces themselves. The French army was given 3 priorities: "the ability to quickly collect and analyze information, effective command and the ability to project (transfer and support the armed forces)." This was what the military reform of 1996 was aimed at, the basis of which was the 1994 White Book.
The last White Paper was published by Nicolas Sarkozy on June 17, 2008 , replacing the 1994 Doctrine. According to the new doctrine, the number of military and civilian employees of defense enterprises will be reduced by 54 thousand in the next 6-7 years. The money saved due to such significant staff reductions will be used to purchase new weapons and equipment.
The new book is based on the need to combat the new dangers that have appeared in the world since 1994. Among these threats are cyber attacks, terrorism, epidemics, and climate catastrophes. The new French security strategy involves strengthening the role of the European Union in defense affairs.
In the spirit of old traditions, the 2008 White Paper prioritizes national security policies as “defense and foreign policies that directly contribute to national security,” but “in order to better protect the interests of France and the mission to protect it population, the new concept of national security of France refers to the internal security policy, on all issues except those that are not directly related to the personal safety of people and their property, violation of law and order ". 
The main feature of the 2008 White Paper is that "for the first time in a century, France does not base its rather revolutionary doctrine of national security on a hypothetical general military confrontation in Europe, but combines defense and ensuring its own national security."  If the core of the 1972 White Paper was “containment,” in 1994, “projection of force,” in the 2008 White Paper on Defense and National Security, it is “knowledge and forecasting,” which represents a new strategic function that has become a priority. Also, one of the important innovations proposed in the 2008 White Paper on Defense and National Security is the designation of the need to establish a National Defense and Security Council, headed by the president of the country, which should also include the prime minister, defense ministers and Internal Affairs, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Ministers of Economics and Budget Planning.
France's Reintegration into NATO
France ranks 4th in NATO funding, with troops representing 7% of the contingent involved in operations. These are about 4650 soldiers operating under the flag of NATO. In addition, France does not have a large command and it cannot influence the strategic decisions of the alliance. NATO is the only organization where France does not have the opportunity to participate and influence. Reintegration into command structures means for a country the ability to act rather than act passively. 
After the collapse of the bipolar system, France continued its defense policy independent of NATO. Moreover, she sought to completely displace the United States from Europe. French President F. Mitterrand wanted to use the end of the Cold War to free European politics from “blind” equalization in the United States and give the EU the status of a self-sufficient center of power that would operate independently of NATO. The French believed that Europe’s security would not be ensured if its defense depended on the United States. However, the self-sufficiency of European defense did not meet US interests.
After the unification of Germany and the collapse of the USSR , the United States needed to find new excuses for a military presence in Europe and the existence of NATO as such. So, a project was developed in the USA that put the Alliance at the center of the European security system. The idea of spreading the Alliance “from Vancouver to Vladivostok” was also put forward. This development of NATO caused concern in France, which was initially against the expansion of NATO to the east. France advocated the gradual accession of the former ATS countries to the countries of the Western world, which would take place gradually and within the framework of predominantly European structures.
On June 15, 1991, a meeting of NATO defense ministers was held in Belgium, at which it was decided to create a "Rapid Response Force." The meeting suggested using the Alliance’s armed forces to resolve conflicts in Europe as a tool of the CSCE. Consequently, it was assumed that NATO would become the basis of the European security system, which France resisted. France’s position was that European defense should rely on the CSCE, the NATO Council and the WEU.
In 1992, under Francois Mitterrand, officials began to take part in the work of the military committee as part of operations in Bosnia. Under Jacques Chirac, France reintroduced the French military into a united structure in 2004. There are three headquarters in Lille, Lyon and Toulon, capable of conducting allied operations. On the ground, troops take part together with NATO in operations in Afghanistan and in Kosovo.
Thanks to the French presidency of the European Union, the European security and defense policy has taken concrete steps forward with increased operational capacities and large-scale participation of Europe in field operations (continued European contingent operations in Chad, the beginning of civilian observation missions in Georgia in September, and in December - Kosovo, and, finally, the first European maritime operation ATALANT to fight against pirates).
France today makes the fourth largest contribution to the North Atlantic Alliance. The country pays and makes available human resources, but it does not take part in the work of the administrative council. Expressing a desire to rejoin the joint command, Nicolas Sarkozy completed the process with complete transparency. This was the essence of the parliamentary debate on international politics in France since 2007, which took place on March 18  .
The principles of independence laid down in 1966 by General de Gaulle remain unshakable: France, under any circumstances, retains complete freedom of decision to send troops to participate in the operation. The country will not send any military contingent to the permanent disposal of the NATO command in peacetime. Regarding nuclear deterrence, complete independence will be maintained, unlike the British, with the aim of ensuring that nuclear deterrence serves both the defense of Europe and NATO. It is on the basis of these principles that France’s relations with NATO are being updated. The first step was the Strasbourg-Kehl summit on April 3 and 4, 2009. 
French military bases abroad
In December 2001, a small military base in France was opened at the airport in Dushanbe ( Tajikistan ) with a contingent of military personnel of 170-230 military  . At the base were placed 6 Mirage fighters and 4 military transport aircraft of the French Air Force  . There was no rent from Paris, but the French restored the runway, spending 5.5 million euros, and also allocated Tajikistan a long-term soft loan of 20 million euros for the construction of a terminal at the Dushanbe airport  .
French military shoes
The army boots - “Rangers”, or, as they are also called, “Rangers” (“Rangeos” or “Rangeots”), are easily recognizable among many other military boots and complement the picture of the appearance of a French soldier since the late 1950s. In the French foreign legion, everyone, from the rank and file to the general, wears Rangers boots. At the parade, the French lace up white laces.
Ranks in the land forces
- Army General ( Général d'armée )
- Corps General ( Général de corps d'armée )
- Division General ( Général de division )
- Brigadier General ( Général de brigade )
- Colonel ( Colonel)
- Lieutenant Colonel ( Lieutenant-colonel)
- Major ( Commandant )
- Captain ( Capitaine )
- Junior Lieutenant ( Sous-lieutenant )
- Podofitser ( Aspirant )
- Petty Officer ( Major )
- Senior Ajudan ( Adjudant-chef )
- Senior sergeant ( Sergent-chef )
- Senior Corporal ( Caporal-chef )
- Corporal ( Caporal )
- Admiral ( Amiral )
- Vice-Admiral Squadron ( Vice-amiral d'escadre )
- Vice Admiral ( Vice-amiral )
- Rear Admiral ( Contre-amiral )
- Captain ( Capitaine de vaisseau )
- Captain Frigate ( Capitaine de frégate )
- Captain Corvette ( Capitaine de corvette )
- Lieutenant ( Lieutenant de vaisseau )
- First Midshipman ( Enseigne de vaisseau 1 )
- Second Midshipman ( Enseigne de vaisseau 2 )
- Junior midshipman ( Aspirant )
- Petty Officer ( Major )
- Chief master ( Maître principal )
- First master ( Premier maître )
- Master ( Maître )
- Second master ( Second maître )
- Quartermaster 1 articles ( Quartier maître 1 )
- Quartermaster 2 articles ( Quartier maître 2 )
- Sailor ( Matelot )
- France's defense policy
- Yu. Akimov, R. Kostyuk, I. Chernov “France in the world order of the XXI century” // Publishing house of St. Petersburg State University 2007.
- Institute of Europe, RAS (Inaccessible link) . Date of treatment June 6, 2015. Archived June 4, 2015.
- 2018 Military Strength Ranking . Date of treatment November 23, 2018.
- France gets rid of ballast and creates a mobile army - VPK.name
- Tsvetkov S. Как. How the “real” XX century began (on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War) // Humanities. Bulletin of the University of Finance. - 2014. - No. 2 (14). - S. 46
- individually guided warheads on one delivery vehicle, usually more than one
- French White Paper on defense and national security (Press kit version). Odile Jacob Publishing Corporation, New York. 2008. P. 5
- Volodin V. Back to NATO // http://www.vremya.ru/2008/106/5/206465.html .
- France's return to NATO joint command // https://archive.is/20130225031903/www.ambafrance-ru.org/spip.php?article7257
- Kutnaeva N. Foreign military bases in the territory of post-Soviet Central Asia // Central Asia and the Caucasus. - 2010. - T. 13. - No. 2. - S. 88
- Official page of the French Armed Forces
- France military strength
- Colonel N. Frolov, Armed Forces of France (inaccessible link) Foreign military review
- History of the French Army
- A. Kopiev Acquisition of the Armed Forces of France Foreign Military Review
- Military reform in France after 1996
- French Defense White Paper: 2014–2025 WarAn Project