Article from ROAPE Volume 9 Number 24
French Militarism in Africa
In the annals of foreign military intervention in independent Africa, it has been French forces that have been involved far more often than any other outside power. At least eighteen times in the fast twenty-five years French troops have invaded African soil. But equally significant, and indeed providing the platform for the more dramatic interventions, are the extensive networks of regular military co=operation. Several single explanations of France's militarism in Africa are explored: that it preserves French capital's interests; that it protects multinational, especially US, interests; that it promotes the interests of a military-industrial complex; that it cements alliances with African states, but particularly with certain ruling classes and regimes. An effort is made to situate these perspectives in a more nuanced view of French imperialism and the French state. Finally, the new departures and the continuities of policy under the Socialist government are reviewed.