The power of the French army
The French Army, while still powerful and technologically advanced, cannot be engaged without a thorough analysis of the tactical and strategic situation. Continuous budgetary cuts over many decades have forced it to spare his efforts. One might compare it to a high-profile athlete who, though well equipped and endorsed, knows he cannot win every race and thus must prioritise.
French military engagements must be decided by considering:
- duration, thus quickly achieving success
- acceptable costs
- maintenance of operational capabilities in other areas of operation
- a political plan that minimizes casualties and has international legitimacy (as bestowed by the UN) or at least is seen to take the moral high ground.
The actions in Libya met such a criteria. Syria however, does not.