French War Making & American Planetary Destabilization
France’s approach to military intervention differs from America’s heavy handed global militarism in one sense while mirroring aspects of it in another. Whereas American led interventions over the past 12 years have often been waged unilaterally, have been open-ended (no exit strategy), continued in spite of abysmal public support, or waged as shadowy covert operations (Obama’s so called light-foot print strategy) without oversight or congressional approval, France has tended to intervene in multilateral scenarios at the request of foreign governments (Ivory Coast in 2011, Mali 2012) and where protecting already established economic interests is concerned. America contrarily has a recent history of “preemptive warfare” to acquire access to new economic resources abroad and “forward engagement”, a project to prepare global rapid response teams to confront “unplanned consequences” around the world; in other words, position itself for future acquisitions of coveted resources.
Where France’s use of military force resembles the United States is in the way the state operates to ensure foreign investors that their investments abroad are safe. Look at how France immediately garnered logistical and financial support for the Mali incursion from Germany, Belgium, Canada and Denmark, all countries tied to gold mining, oil and gas prospecting and uranium extracting operations in the region. France, a nuclear power with the world’s fourth largest military budget operates as a corporate security force to assure major foreign investors that profits will continue to be generated in regions of the world where French based multinationals and quasi private public companies like Areva conduct business. The major difference between the French exercise of military might and America’s is the difference between the desire to maintain clout in existing regions of strategic interest and global domination. France’s more limited military capacity typically confines the global reach of the former colonial power to areas still defined by colonial borders like North and West Africa where France once dominated. America’s delusions of empire outlined in the recently published US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 stand in stark contrast to France’s military pursuits. Global Trends 2030 makes clear America’s continued aspirations to be a benevolent “global security provider” or “global policeman”. The document is essentially a confessional by failed sci-fi writers who landed jobs in America’s intelligence-security-complex. As American military operations become increasingly secretive, as the CIA mutates more and more into a special operations outfit (as opposed to its traditional role as foreign intelligence provider), as the world wide construction of CIA bases comes to resemble an edifice complex, America reveals itself for what it is – a declinist fortress with a penchant for planetary destabilization. France’s military plays a more modest role – corporate security force of limited territory defined by history. The legacy of French intervention in its former colonies follows a disturbing trend: “it undertook 45 military operations in its former colonies between 1960 and 2005.” Including the 2011 ousting of Qadaffi, the 2011 intervention in Gabon, and the most recent intervention in Mali that amounts to 48. France’s policy of responding to its handpicked regional leaders seems to be trading off quite well as France and the business interests they back shore up greater access to the resources once sought in French colonies. The legacy of colonialism endures. When spun the right way it is made to seem heroic.