| Welcome to Global Village Space

Thursday, May 23, 2024

French army ‘ready for war’ – top general

Paris is prepared to fight the “toughest” battles to protect its interests, the chief of staff has declared

France is ready to face whatever developments unfold internationally and is prepared for the “toughest engagements” to protect itself, the chief of staff of the French Army, Gen. Pierre Schill, said in an interview published on Tuesday.

In recent weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly refused to rule out Western troops being sent to Ukraine at some point to help Kiev in its fight against Moscow, which he described as an “adversary” of Paris.

Read more: Mosque door deliberately set on fire in France

France’s forces are “ready,” Schill told Le Monde, stressing that “whatever the developments in the international situation, the French can be convinced: their soldiers will respond.”

Schill said France has “international responsibilities” and is linked by defense agreements to “states exposed to major threats,” and must therefore have its forces trained and interoperable with allied armies.

He added that nuclear deterrence “is not a universal guarantee” because it does not guard against conflicts that would remain “below the threshold of vital interests.” Schill said that the Army must show itself a credible force through responsiveness in terms of force projection and the ability to carry out operations of increased scope.

Read more: Türkiye Ranks Third Globally in Diplomatic Power, Surpassing Japan and France

The general said that France currently has the capacity to commit a division of around 20,000 men within 30 days and has the means to command an army corps of up to 60,000 which includes allied divisions.

In an interview with the TF1 and France 2 channels last week, President Macron said that France is “not waging war on Russia” by supporting Kiev, but labeled Russia an “adversary” and has stood by his remarks that a potential deployment of NATO troops to the country could not be “excluded.”

His statements drew a wave of denials from most of France’s fellow NATO members and officials – including Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – about having any intention to deploy their forces to Ukraine.

At the same time, Spain’s El Pais reported on Monday that the US-led bloc has already been involved “in virtually every possible aspect” of the conflict and that active and former military personnel from NATO states have been operating in the country overseeing Kiev’s use of Western-supplied weapons.

Moscow has repeatedly described the conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned against escalation and said that a direct clash between NATO and Russia would be “one step shy of a full-scale World War III.”