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The Reform Lexicon (23)

The Reform Lexicon (23)

A New Professional Army for France (Part 23). Source: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense. Paris, February 23, 1996.


Defense Committee : constitutional committee chaired by the Head of State. It is seated by the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Defense, of Foreign Affairs, of the Home Office, of Economy and Finance, and where required, the main Ministry of Defense officials. The General Secretary for National Defense ensures the secretariat.

Domestic security: a new concept which, within the framework of the operational function of protection enables Security Forces (particularly the National Military Police Force) to better contribute to the protection and security of our national territory, people and goods. Domestic security aims at accentuating, within the Ministry of Defense, the territorial responsibilities held by the National Military Police Force ; it also implies the participation, where necessary, of the other Armed Forces.

Economic and social support: all the measures (including incentives, training and reconversion) implemented to face the consequences of the cumulated reduction in staff in the Armed Forces, the General Armament Delegation (DGA) and the Defense industry along with their impact on the various areas of employment.

Operational function: essential function assumed by the Armed Forces in order to fulfil missions confided by the President of the Republic, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The new-style Armed Forces comprise four functions : deterrence, prevention, projection and protection.

Planning : internal Ministry of Defense exercise associating all the bodies concerned (Head-quarters, General Armament Delegation (DGA), General Administrative Secretariats, Delegation for Strategic Affairs) in order to draw up the new-style Armed Forces on a long-term basis (I5 to 20 years).

Programming: exercise aiming at precisely establishing the options made in terms of changes in staff numbers, operation and equipment over a period of six years. It is ratified by a Parliamentary bill. The next programming exercise is to concern the years 1997-2002.

Project of Armed Forces : physical objective (staff, equipment) aimed at for the Armed Forces on a long-term basis (2015). The new-style Armed Forces have been established within the framework of a 20 year schedule.

Projection: operational function central to the new-style Armed Forces. The projection of the Armed Forces is essential for all interventions at a distance from our national territory. It aims at favoring permanently available forces and associated means of transport.

Renovated National Service: a new method of participation in National Defense and Solidarity for young citizens which is susceptible of replacing traditional military conscription. A renovated national service project may be the object of a debate during the widespread consultations which will be undertaken by the Government on the future of National Service. The project would include a "Security-Defense" chapter, a "Solidarity" chapter and a "Co-operation" chapter, which will be described in detail (voluntary or compulsory service) after the national debate has taken place.

Strategic Committee: advisory committee set up by the Ministry of Defense in July 1995 to direct and co-ordinate the modernization of the Defense tool. It is chaired by the Minister of Defense and is seated by main ministerial officials along with the General Secretary for National Defense and delegates representing the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. The Strategic Affairs Delegation ensures the secretariat. The Strategic Committee has met 15 times since it was set up.


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).