Is France ready for a hybrid war?

This is another form of warfare, which now combines vague means and activities, military or not, conventional or irregular forces, such as the 2014 Crimean conflict. Hybrid warfare is played in gray areas such as oceans, space, cyber and information fields. . The gray area whose control is essential for predicting an attack and why it will not be able to respond. The nature of warfare has changed, including information warfare, cyber-attacks, and satellite espionage, and is no longer confined to three sky-land-sea domains. These new areas of conflict force the military to adapt to this new kind of threat.

“Hybridity is a combination of different modes of action in time and space. The specialty of hybrid warfare or hybridity is that it blends the modes of military action with the modes of political, diplomatic, economic, social, cultural action. Succeeding in coordinating and coordinating the effects produced is determined by the authority’s policy, “explained General Pascal Yani, communications adviser and spokesman for the Chief of the Defense Staff.

Information war, war of influence

Informative war is emerging from the shadows: the French armed forces “Inauguration” Recently, during his weekly press briefing, an update on this aspect in particular. “Today, this is an important, if not large, fact of all the operational promises of the French army.”, General Pascal Yani explained. Violent protests against France in West Africa, rumors on social networks … Army personnel are preparing themselves to face this new threat – as described “A steamroller, a ground spark, driven by interests that are closer to Russia or even Russia.”, Spokesman analysis for Army personnel. “It is a daily struggle and an integrated struggle at all levels. “

This is also the case with cyber warfare. Colonel Thierry Bauer, head of the COMCYBER operations department, gave the order “Keep trying” In the case of defensive cyber warfare … but also offensive. “We are working to keep ourselves in a position to launch computer attacks on the adversary’s system.” Even if military action is largely related to the defensive component. The Gray matter “, experts, rare products, which is why the effort also focuses on human resources: “There is a real challenge in attracting the brains we need”Because these same profiles are also very much sought after by the manufacturers.

Space, hybrid space equal superiority

When space is infinite, it becomes more dense. Colonel Guillaume Bourdeloux, Air and Space Force Space Operations Commander, “We are in a new space age”. “We need to understand that space warfare is not a myth now and it happens almost every day. We really need to make this environment work.”, He believes. What makes this medium hybrid is its dual character, so it is “It is difficult to distinguish between a civilian move that could be a military one.”.

A recent example: In February 2022, two Chinese satellites connected to each other, before one of the two was exploited by the other. If the official pattern is experimental, “Military interests are very clear”, Air Force and Space Space Operations Commander estimates. If a French military satellite is subject to such a friendly approach, it will be removed. But this strategy will cost, as Colonel Bordeaux explained, “The probability of an observation satellite having a life expectancy of more than three months, which is intended to survive between seven and ten years.. The French military’s approach is toward surveillance, and if a space response is not on the agenda, it can be done by mixing different types of capabilities in other ways.

France in the learning phase

Is France ready for a hybrid war? “Today, with all honesty, no.”, Colonel Guillaume Bordeaux replied. But there are space commands “A power roadmap that will allow this”, He points out. This roadmap is part of the Military Programming Act (LPM), which is in line with the improvement of the capabilities of the new space army, currently equipped with 290 troops (500 by 2025). In addition, French military space policy is naturally based on international partnerships with civilians. “We cannot cover the entire planet on our own. We are working with our allies, who have the Americans ahead, but with Australia, Japan and possibly South Korea to look the other way.”Colonel Guillaume Bourdeloux says.

In the information war, General Pascal Yanio also believes that the army is not “Fully mature” Despite some successes, such as Gossi in northern Mali, where the French military has thwarted a new attempt at pro-Russian instability. “We understand that in terms of perception and information, it is important to impose our description.”, General Yanni believes. As a result, within hours, the French military decided to declassify drone videos of Wagner mercenaries burying bodies near a former French camp. “We had to move very quickly to stop information attacks or computer manipulation immediately.”He said.

In the cyber domain, France “Ready but we must constantly prepare ourselves, especially in these areas which are constantly evolving.”Colonel Thierry Bauer believes. For COMCYBER Head of Operations, “We can never rest on our laurels.”. Because swords and shields are constantly evolving. “We are ready but we still have to work and develop our operating systems to adapt to the slope and be able to pierce it when the day comes.”He said. “The winner is the one who is flexible and able to adapt to the evolution of the situation.”General Pascal Yani recalls.