From the beginning, France was one of the pioneering countries in the field of disarmament, an activity that occurred from time to time and now happens mainly in a European framework. However, France’s nuclear posture often seems conservative.
Too hesitant when it comes to discussions on nuclear disarmament and too assertive concerning deterrence, France takes a line that could distance it from its European partners and isolate it in the wider world. The main themes that came up during the latest NPT Review Conference and the nuclear line of greatest slope taken by most of the European NATO countries showed the risks for our country of playing a game that is both too exclusive at the diplomatic level and not forward-looking enough on a strategic plane.
This wide-ranging study reveals that the business of disarmament is a compromise between political, industrial and technological realities, but that it leaves human beings with sufficient margin of manoeuvre to be able to direct their efforts and mitigate constraints. This is how things currently stand on the issues of proliferation and deterrence in 2010, a year in which there is a real nuclear debate.