Academic journal article McNair Papers

2. Key Public Attitudes Underlying the Defense Synthesis

Academic journal article McNair Papers

2. Key Public Attitudes Underlying the Defense Synthesis

Article excerpt

Underlying the Gaullist defense synthesis have been persistent French public attitudes supporting a policy of national independence. There are five essential characteristics of French public support for France's independent defense policy. (1)

* First, the French continue to see defense as a requirement for public support and have continued to sense a need for a relatively high level of defense expenditure (figure 1).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

* Second, the French public supports a policy of active engagement by French forces. The public supports the use of force as a tool of state power and the defense of national interests (figure 2).

* Third, the French public sees France's defense policy as being Alliance-centered. The only real debate is over whether it should be more European or Atlantic in orientation (figure 3).

* Fourth, the French public believes overwhelmingly that nuclear weapons are a necessary component in French defense policy (figure 4).

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

* Fifth, nuclear weapons remain a strongly supported element in the French consensus, but there is a strong belief they do not protect against all types of aggression that France is likely to encounter. In other words, there is a growing realization that nuclear weapons provide for only a partial defense of French interests (figure 5).

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

Figure 2. Would support the use of French forces for the
following reasons ...

                                 Sept 1987   May 1988   July 1990

To Liberate French Hostage          65          63         73
To Protect French Lives Abroad      67          65         76
To Destroy a Terrorist Cell         70          70         72
To Support the UN

                                 May 1991   May 1992   May 1993

To Liberate French Hostage          78          83         90
To Protect French Lives Abroad      73          82         84
To Destroy a Terrorist Cell         74          76         83
To Support the UN                   82          84         84

Figure 3. … 
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.