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France’s operation Barkhane: Pro et Contra
Abstract.The article analyzes the modern form of France’s military presence in Sahel-Saharan region - the operation Barkhane. The main attention is given to the purpose and the tasks of the operation, the involved forces and finances, and foreign policy motives which France uses to justify its military involvement. Special attention is given to the weak aspects of the expedition - from the obscure situation with funding and equipment, able to operate in the desert conditions, to the unreliability of the five Sahel countries. The authors also study the variants of the operation Barkhane termination, which can be considered by the French government. To study all the aspects of the problem as a single set, the authors use the SWOT-analysis method. Based on this method, the authors successively study the strong and the weak aspects of the operation, the possibilities and external threats. The conclusions are combined in a summary table - an analytical extract of all the key factors promoting or hampering the maintenance of France’s military presence in the region. Such point of view turns the study into the applied research, and bears out its scientific novelty against the background of other scientific work describing the situation in Sahel in general rather than focusing on the problems and prospects of the particular operation. The authors conclude that Sahel campaign remains quite unsuccessful for France: its negative internal and external effects are still stronger than the positive ones. In attempt to improve the situation, the current authorities try to realize the only scenario acceptable for them: to gradually withdraw the French army from Sahel in exchange for strengthening military forces of the local states.
Keywords: European Union, G5 Sahel, Mali, terrorism, defence policy, operation Barkhane, overseas operations, Sahel, France, Emmanuel Macron
Article was received:15-12-2018
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .