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The French are So Very Different…


From Defense News, a response to a new French defense white paper:

The report draws some skepticism. “It’s interesting and no doubt well done, but I am unconvinced about the usefulness of making 30-year predictions,” said Yves Boyer, deputy director of think-tank Fondation pour la Recherche Strategique. Boyer said the report is “an excess of positivism, a neo-positivism,” founded on the belief that things can be scientifically known and codified, whereas events show that life is not linear and is unpredictable. The exercise taps into what Boyer sees as a French cultural bias toward an engineering and scientific approach to geopolitics and geostrategy.

The point is well taken (although I’m not sure about the French cultural bias towards engineering and the scientific approach; compared to who?) but it’s just so hard for me to imagine a post-positivist critique of the Quadrienial Defense Review emerging from Brookings or any other American defense think tank.

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