France has been struck by an unprecedented three terror attacks in the last 18 months. In what’s called Operation Sentinelle, 13,000 French military personnel now patrol streets and protect key sites across the country, assisting police and other security agencies. “The fact that the armed forces are visible,” said French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at a Brookings event on July 20, “help to reassure the French people that they are safe both at home and abroad.”
Do the challenges facing France today mean that it should reduce its engagement overseas, focusing instead on security at home? Le Drian doesn’t think so, and I agree. In a new book titled "Who is the Enemy?," he particularly emphasizes the multifaceted ISIS threat.