Saturday, March 22, 2008

France to Reduce Nuclear Arsenal

President Sarkozy of France has announced that France will reduce it nuclear arsenal by 1/3, leaving the country with less than 300 nuclear missiles. However, Sarkozy emphasized that the France will remain committed to its nuclear forces.

Sarkozy attributed the need to maintain French nuclear capabilities as an insurance policy as against emerging threats from Asia and the Middle East. Iran was explicitly mentioned in this statement.

Sarkozy also metioned that any threat to the vital interests of France would be met with what he called a "severe riposte," preferring to remain ambiguous as to what the nature of such a riposte would be.

While described as part of an ongoing revamp of French defense policy and a positive step forward for nuclear nonproliferation, this move is more likely the result of financial difficulties for the French government.

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