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Cablegate: France's New Relationship with Nato

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #4131 2751602
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021602Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0595
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES

UNCLAS PARIS 004131

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EB and EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON ELAB PGOV FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE'S NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH NATO

1. (U) SUMMARY. French Defense Minister Herve Morin used the
September 10 - 11 "Summer Defense University" (an annual conference
organized by the two houses of French parliament) to lay the
foundation for a transformation of France's armed forces including a
new relationship with NATO. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) The National Assembly and Senate's Defense Committees held
their fifth annual Summer Defense University September 10 -11 in
Toulouse. The event focused on space and drew French Defense
Minister, Herve Morin, the presidents of parliamentary defense
commissions from eighteen European countries, military leaders from
throughout Europe, French industrial leaders, and one American
representative, Leo Michel from the National Defense University.
Over the 2 day event, discussions covered geo-political scenarios
for the year 2030, space, dissuasion, prevention, protection and
projection. Participants noted the lack of deployable European
troops and stressed France's need to develop its own defense
programs.

3. (U) Three high-ranking government leaders, the Vice President
of the Senate Commission, the National Assembly Commission President
and DefMin Morin all called for a new relationship between NATO and
the European Defense and Security Policy (EDSP) during their
comments to the conference. Most participants agreed that France
should find a balance between NATO and EDSP and should be more
active in NATO. Leo Michel encouraged France to increase its
participation in NATO's allied command during his comments and
pointed out that NATO does not subsume national forces. Minister
Morin devoted a portion of his speech to the consolidation of
alliances, pointing out that France needed to change its attitude on
NATO. He ended his remarks with his "profound conviction" that an
EDSP is not possible unless France clarifies its position in NATO.
Morin also stressed the need for joint forces in the military,
specifically citing human resource and information technology
systems redundancies that needed streamlining.

5. (U) Comment: The GOF viewed this event as a chance to advance
discussions of alliances with military organizations. Military
modernization plans for the future will be launched in a defense
"White Paper" now under preparation (with a March 2008 deadline).
Local military officials stressed Morin's statement that the White
Paper process would include sensitive, and previously off limits,
issues. End Comment.
Stapleton

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