France’s New Offensive Cyber Doctrine

Since its November 2018 announcement of the Paris Call, a code of conduct for cyber space, France has turned to the offensive. On Jan. 18, French armed forces minister Florence Parly unveiled the country’s first doctrine for offensive cyber operations. This announcement is the latest in a series of deep and fast-paced measures aimed at organizing and clarifying the defense of French interests in cyberspace.

The Strategic Review for Defense and National Security, released in 2017, recognized digital sovereignty and cybersecurity as top priorities. Immediately afterward, a Cyber Defense Command was established to coordinate cyber defense within the armed forces, with the exception of the foreign intelligence agency, DGSE, which retained some level of autonomy. In parallel, the foreign affairs ministry unveiled France’s International Digital Strategy, from which emerged the Paris Call, which I summarized and analyzed on Lawfare last year.

The Military Programming Law for 2019–2025, enacted in the summer of 2018, reinforces the armed forces ministry’s efforts by dedicating an additional 1.6 billion euros for cyber operations along with 1,500 additional personnel for a total of 4,000 cyber combatants by 2025. In February 2018, the country’s first National Strategy for Cyber Defense clarified both the organization and integration of cyber operations among all government entities as well as the legal framework surrounding their use. ..Read More..

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