Incumbent Minster of Armed Forces of France Florence Parly, a frail French woman, is an experienced and successful business lady. She is an expert in advertising and public relations. In the today's multipolar world amidst a certain weakening of liberal globalists, the trade in military power and simple arms sales are becoming an important element of strengthening national power and global influence. That is why her recent statement, which caused a public outcry, that France "has all aces in the race of military innovations" on the one hand was a purely commercial move and on the other hand madam minister was unlikely to deviate from the truth.
Experts truly respect France's military-scientific and military-technical potential. As far as arms exports are concerned, deputy director of Russia's Center of Analyzing Strategy and Technologies Konstantin Makiyenko believes that France can actually become second largest exporter in 2019-2020 overtaking Russia. However, such things happened before. Everything depends on certain contracts.
However, one should keep in mind that in terms of potential the Armed Forces of France are the fifth strongest in the world, and America's influential journal National Interest forecasts that it will get to the fourth place by 2030. Today, the French army is the strongest in the EU. It's not a secret that France's Armed Forces are viewed as a core of the future pan-European army that will or will not interact with NATO. France will make a priceless contribution of the global scale – its diplomatic influence, cultural leadership and massive modern armed forces with nuclear arms - to the future United States of Europe (or whatever its will be called without the Anglo-Saxons and Poland).
The changing configuration can be seen in Parly's active use of propaganda levelers to form public opinion on military innovations, which Paris previously had tried to evade or more likely was rather reserved in this respect. Well, the French have limited resources and have way to go to catch up with the USA. For example, media view robots developed to help French troops stationed in Mali as one of "Parly's aces". It’s unlikely to be a breakthrough, although naturally quite useful in African conditions. But America's DARPA has nearly developed a robot that needs no fuel. It will literally be a vegetarian. It will consume green biomass (say, crop grass or gather paper bags) and use them to produce energy. And a shout went out – one more step and robots will become cannibals, will operate on "consumed" human flesh.
But back in 1953 popular American sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley made a short story, The Last Weapon. The plot was as follows: a maniac, Parke, who dreamt of global dominance, found and activate on Mars a substance that was described as a weapon that couldn't be protected against. The ugly dreamer thought that it was as good as settled. However, the substance smelled him and here was the result: "I like quiet protoplasm," the thing said as its gigantic mouth converged on Parke. "But I also like lively protoplasm." The thing gulped the enemy. It looks like, it’s the truth!
Let's go back to Parly's aces. The minister of defense does have creativity. France's Defense Innovation Agency said in a recently published report that the French army had decided to hire sci-fi writers who will forecast new types of technological threats. The group titled Red Team will consist of 5-6 people. They will be involved role games and other types of heuristic forecast. In particular, they will try to imagine "destructive developments" if foreign states or terrorists use "advanced technologies." The writers' work will be classified. The game here is that military officials have linear thinking, they act as it is said in the regulations, whereas writers are creative people, they are governed by no regulations. Writers who have original imagination will propose various scenarios of invasions, attacks or the use of unusual types of arms that are not considered by the conventional military strategy.
In 1970-s, when scientific and technological progress flourished and people went for spacewalks and to Moon, statesmen liked scientific-technological forecasting. Various "brainstorms" came into fashion then, lists of ideas from sci-fi novels and the concept of "forecasting demons" that were sending signals from the future. There was little use of that, but it did no damage as well. But there was brilliant ecstasy of the unlimited potential of the man's genius: "Apple trees will blossom on Mars…"
The Red Team has proved useful in trying to revive belief in this potential at the national level in France. French inventor Franky Zapata flew over the crowd on the Flyboard UFO over people watching the Bastille Day parade. His vehicle is elegant. To a large extent it is made of modern technological elements. But, alas, such vehicle and backpacks with engines are known for at least 60 years. They fly just one or two minutes as they consume a lot of fuel. One has to wait until an anti-gravity vehicle is invented. However, President of France Emmanuel Macron posted a video of Zapata's flight on Twitter writing: "I am proud of our army – modern and innovative." This means to use it to deliver ammunition over a river or take a special operations officer to a fifth floor.
But it's not the essence. The essence is that "Go, France!" was said. Let sci-fi writers, scientists, dreaming inventors, pragmatic officers, and mainly patriotic politicians help the country!