13 September 2016

French Arm Sales Under Scrutiny

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2016/0826/France-s-arms-industry-on-defense-after-sub-data-leak-UN-criticism

Who benefits from these leaks? Who benefits from wounding French credibility?

The Human Rights argument falls flat. France is by no means the only nation arming Saudi Arabia and thus helping them to perpetuate the Yemen conflict. As long as the United States is doing the same, there's little to criticise and France knows this. This aspect of the story strikes me as specious. Any of the Western powers engaged in proxy wars, counterinsurgency and in many cases military 'humanitarian' interventions will fall prey to these charges. Why is France being singled out?

The UN all too often functions as a creature of US power and influence. That may be the case here, or it may be as simple as the fact that going after the US is a waste of time.

As far as the security breach... who would want this information out there?

Terrorists? Possibly. France has been the target of terrorism as of late and security specs on high-tech military armaments hardly helps the terrorists, unless their intention is to embarrass France in the eyes of clients. The proliferation of these systems will not affect them either way.

There is the possibility that this could be directed against India via France, since India is a purchaser of French products. At that point the source could be ISI or an affiliated group. Beijing is also a possibility though more distant.

More likely this leak is a result corporate espionage and competitive rivalry. France's credibility has been wounded and they're getting bad press. Any other military that might be 'shopping around', might be more inclined to look elsewhere for the products they seek.

Perhaps they'll look to some American manufacturers?

This sort of thing is far more common than people realise. In the realm of espionage fiction, most of the book and movie fare focuses on government agencies. And yet most of the real-world intrigue is outside of government in the corporate world.

Here's where it gets blurry. The corporate world (today more than ever) has blurred with the intelligence sector. Or to put it another way, the intelligence agencies have heavily infiltrated the corporate worlds of banking, finance, insurance, defense contracting, industry, technology and trade. State agencies working through sub-contractor private sector agents and assets are carrying out their agendas. Weapons sales in particular carry geopolitical implications and intelligence agencies will zealously intervene to ensure sales go to the desired company.

And of course the companies themselves are staffed with former and still connected military and intelligence assets.

Here's a related post that may shed a little light on what may indeed be happening with this French leak. Perhaps more will be revealed in time.
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