Re: Chas. Handy "Beyond Certainty" LO2765

Bernard Girard (
Tue, 12 Sep 1995 18:37:38 +0000

Replying to LO2745 --

About uncertainty and the strategic planning process in the Army.

A good example of uncertainty would be the defense policy of France. We
had an "enemy" : USSR. To prevent it from attacking us, we developed the
atomic bomb and the strategy of diissuasion (we are the weakest, but if
you attack us we can bite back and hurt you badly, so badly it's not in
your interest to attack us). This enemy just vanished without prior notice
in the early 90's. This was what we can call uncertainty.

Because we had rare resources and an atomic bomb we did not develop
conventional forces, and our soldiers who fight in ex-Yugoslavia need
american helicopters.

Problem : what do we do now? Do we keep our atomic bomb? that's what
Chirac decided, but nobody sees any enemy. Do we abandon it? But what
happens if an agressive right wing governement comes to power in Russia?

Who is to decide? the experts? but they are experts in conventional
weapons (and they want conventional weapons) or in atomic weapons (and
they want them to be tested)? The politicians? but they can only make an
act of faith.

Bernard Girard