What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Monday, September 8, 2008


First of all mine, regarding the ambush on French paratroopers that killed nine French soldiers (while another, tenth soldier died in a loosely connected road accident which occurred under the not entirely normal circumstances connected to the fighting). I wrote in my earlier take that an interpreter working for the paras went missing just two hours before the departure of the patrol. I was writing from memory, referring to what le nouvel Observateur's article stated. Now I found the latter article on the internet, so you can read it as well, and in fact it says that two interpreters have gone missing, not one, and several hours before departure, not two.
This, in fact, reinforces the concerns which I had anyway.
What makes me raise this again, beyond the need to correct what I've written, is another incident/accident I've just now heard of - at the time, back on June 30, I failed to notice.
In the Uzbeen valley, it was the 8e RPIMa that has run into the ambush, while back in June it was the 3e RPIMa that ended up in a dreadful situation. They were exercising hostage liberation techniques at a public event, in front of a major crowd in Carcassonne, when one of the soldiers emptied a 25-bullet magazine full of live munition into the crowd. Seventeen people were hurt, several of them gravely. How live shots ended up being fired during the exercise, was a mystery in the immediate aftermath. Somebody had to be very negligent for this accident to happen. If any reader happens to know more of what investigators of the accident later reported, I'd be grateful to hear it - just now I can't start looking myself for what I'd like to know, as I have to return to other duties.


fnord said...

Army chief of staff General Bruno Cuche resigned over the incident.

http://www.flyafrica.info/forums/showthread.php?t=12338 (A weird link, but the best summation I could find.

Péter MARTON said...

Weird and useful indeed, thanks.
The French military reform, with any reform's inevitable spending cuts, just had to be implicated by this.

So, a "crisis of confidence between the Elysee and the military..." - not a good time for that. Thinking of which, I don't know of course when exactly there would be a good time for such a thing. Anyway.