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  • On June 22, 1940, the French Government, led by Philippetain,

  • signed an armistice with Nazi Germany, essentially surrendering most of the country over to

  • Hitler. Since then, France has been labeled by some, as militarily weak and prone to surrender.

  • So, let’s give it an actual look... how powerful is France?

  • The short answer is...very powerful. Despite only having around 230,000 active military

  • personnel, which is far less than other world powers like China, Russia, the US and India,

  • France still ranks 4th

  • politics and its advanced military technology.

  • As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, France can exert veto

  • power, and are on equal footing with Russia, the US, China, and the UK. So, it would be

  • difficult

  • for a UN-backed coalition to move against France or its interests. France is also a

  • full NATO

  • member and a founding member of the European Union. And they hold a lot of influence over

  • the world’s economy. 14 African nations use a form of currency called the CFA Franc,

  • which

  • has direct ties to France’s national bank. AND the head of the International Monetary

  • Fund is

  • traditionally French. Plus, France has its own flourishing economy with strongholds in

  • every

  • business sector from energy to pharmaceuticals.

  • They also have an extremely advanced military, complete with nuclear subs, an aircraft

  • carrier, long-range nuclear missiles and estimated 15 military bases abroad, giving them an

  • international footprint akin to Russia’s. Adding to all of this is their robust military

  • industrial

  • complex: theyre the fifth largest weapons exporter in the world. And they saw a 30 percent

  • increase in weapons sales last year.

  • As we said at the top, France is very powerful, but there are also some indications

  • that their power may be diminishing due to budget cuts. Theyve cut roughly a third

  • of

  • their active military personnel since 2008. They also froze their core defense budget

  • at 31.4 billion gyros, in a time when other nations like China, India and Russia are

  • increasing theirs. They also abandoned some of their programs, like their plans to build

  • a new aircraft carrier, and a new class of amphibious vehicles. And they shrunk their

  • air force from 300 jets down to 225. Some experts say they don’t have nearly enough

  • transports or fueling planes to effectively deploy their troops. And according to The

  • Wall

  • Street Journal, “On paper they have roughly 230,000 men and women in uniform, but

  • only 30,000 are estimated to be deployable on six months notice.” The accusation is

  • that France isn’t putting enough financial resources into their armed forces, and as

  • a

  • result theyre becoming less effective.

  • on the National Power Index. Primarily because of its position in global

  • If you’d like to know more about the strengths of other world powers, like Russia,

  • India, or China, please click one of these boxes now. Or to see them all, please click

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On June 22, 1940, the French Government, led by Philippetain,

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How Powerful Is France?


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