Macron unveils shift in military posture as war returns to Europe

President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that France's military strategy must strengthen the country as an independent, respected nuclear-armed power through the end of the decade, warning against a risk of escalation and other global effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Europe is not sheltered anymore from missile and drone strikes. And we must integrate this reality,” Macron said, speaking on the Dixmude helicopter carrier, docked in the Mediterranean military base of Toulon which is home to more than 24,000 troops.

Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine “may precede broader geopolitical rivalries and a future that we have no reason to accept with fatalism”, Macron said as he unveiled France’s “national strategic review”, meant to define how the country’s defense will look in 2030.

France wants to be an “independent, respected, agile power at the heart of the European strategic autonomy” with strong links to the Atlantic alliance, Macron said.

As war is back on the European continent, France wants to focus on boosting the European Union’s defense capacity building — the bloc of 27 nations’ security is still largely dependent on the U.S. and NATO.

“When peace is back in Ukraine, we will need to assess all the consequences” via a “new security architecture” on the continent, Macron said.

He insisted a “credible, modern” nuclear deterrence is key. France is the only EU country with nuclear weapons.


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