The announcement of a new united military force between the UK and French has seen a force of up to 6,500 servicemen involved in a multi-national defence deal between both countries. French special forces, French Marines are to be involved in this deal as well as its UK counterparts such as the Royal Marines, SAS and Parachute regiment. Not only this more importantly a united nuclear deterrent might be on the table, where sharing of secret nuclear data and information will be exchanged. Government officials have stated that the CJEF will be involved mainly in humanitarian efforts however can also be deployed and involved in full combat missions.
Who will command this force and who will it be answerable to?
The CJEF will have a single commander when launched from either British or French rank, which means that French or British troops will be under the command of either a French or a British general. However whoever is in command will report and be answerable to ministers in Paris and London. The French and British have worked closely together throughout the years with the highlight being the UN peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.
Co-operation between both countries will hit a new level with both countries pledging full access to a range of each forces military capabilities, such as refuelling, transport, UAV, naval access and satellite communications. The highlight being a recent article on the 2 new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, which is now being fitted with steam-catapults which will further increase military interoperability between France, UK and other partners. The UK will only operate one aircraft carrier at the end of the decade, which will highlight strategic and technical problems when the aircraft carriers goes into dock for servicing. A deal has been made between the two countries for at least one aircraft carrier to be combat ready to operate in combat conditions when called upon with France having the Charles De Gaulle aircraft carrier (R91) at the ready.
Nuclear deals will also see British scientists working closely with French scientists on tests which will conduct on the reliability and safety of nuclear war heads for both countries. Senior officials have stated that more information on nuclear secrets are being shared more than ever before in the past. However the benefits will see millions of pounds saved especially at a time when the government is cutting.
The document which is signed by senior figures of the military forces and government officials states:
“Co-operation on warhead maintenance would be an essential first step towards a possible joint deterrent in the future,” the signatories say. “In an uncertain world it remains important to have a nuclear capability. Anglo-French defence cooperation offers an obvious way forward which we cannot afford to ignore.”
Criticisms / Opinions
There will of course be people who will criticise this deal as many people will not like the idea of our force being under the control of other nations generals or nuclear secrets being given out to other countries. Though to be honest, those people are uninformed, this type of command structuring has been happening in Afghanistan for quite a while now. However I personally think it is a step in the right direction, it first saves money and also sees that there is full interoperability between both countries when and if it is needed for future threats. Which concludes in saying having a partner who has full interoperability military-wise is a good thing to have especially when they are a neighbouring country.