Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nuclear deterrence: Hollande promises not to “guard down” – The Obs

Nuclear deterrence: Hollande promises not to "guard down" – The Obs

Istres (AFP) – Francois Hollande said Thursday the Istres airbase there can be no question of “guard down” on nuclear deterrence, while raising a new glimpse into the composition of the French nuclear arsenal.

“The international context allows no weakness,” insisted the head of state and army, saying “the time of nuclear deterrence is not exceeded “. Thus, he said, “there can be no question, including in this area, guard down” even though France “does not feel directly attacked” and “has no declared enemy.”

Francois Hollande also reiterated its commitment to maintaining the two “flexible and responsive” components of deterrence, underwater and airborne in “complementarity”.

To maintain their “credibility” he formalized, among other equipment programs of these forces, his decision to “launch future adaptations of the M51 missile” aimed at under-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) despite a “restrictive budgetary context” .

Recalling the French nuclear doctrine, the Head of State strongly reaffirmed that any infringement of the “vital interests” of France would result in a nuclear retaliation assuming “unacceptable damage to the opponent ( …) because everyone knows that when France speaks, it can take action. “

President Hollande was speaking very moment the National Assembly was beginning the examination a confidence motion by the opposition after the forced passage of the law Macron. But he bent and an unwritten tradition that wanted each of its predecessor, the Fifth Republic, speaks at least once during his term on these eminently sovereign issues.

” In a dangerous world, and it is, France will not lower our guard, “he stressed, noting that it” is particularly serious to notice: the possibility of future state conflicts directly concerning us or indirectly can not be ruled out “

-. ‘Effort truth’ –

” In the area of ​​nuclear weapons, new powers have emerged in the last twenty years “and” d Still others seek to emerge, “further argued Francois Hollande, seeing in this” increase in the number of states possessing nuclear weapons a major threat to peace. “

” This is the sense of our position already for several months, if not years in negotiations with Iran: yes to nuclear power, not nuclear weapons, “continued the president

.” The problem is that for now, Iran has not yet demonstrated that he wanted to give up the bomb; but when it does, the agreement will be reached, “he chained, also evoking the” third nuclear test, “he said led by North Korea two years ago.

François Hollande has also unveiled for the first time, the composition of the French nuclear arsenal, confirming that France had generally “less than 300″ warheads.

With the willingness of “go further in transparency, whether the doctrine, arsenals or concrete disarmament efforts,” the head of state and armed chained “This is why I do not fear to inform that France has three batches of 16 missiles carried by submarines and 54 vectors (missiles) ASMPA “equipping combat aircraft of the airborne component of deterrence.

” And I wants all states with nuclear weapons make the same effort of truth for all categories of weapons in its nuclear arsenal, “he said, noting that his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, had given in 2008″ the total volume “of the stock of arms.

Francois Hollande also recalled the” priority “granted by France to the” final judgment of the production of fissile material “for nuclear weapons, noting that “negotiations could start, failing agreement of the main states concerned.”

“That’s why I now call on all States with nuclear weapons to commit without waiting this discussion, “he began, announcing that” France will propose in the coming weeks a draft treaty ambitious, realistic and verifiable “.

The head of state then visited “K Building” from the Istres air base that houses the nuclear weapons stored at the site, an essential link in the airborne component of deterrence.


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