mardi 24 janvier 2023

Rise of the military presence in democracies on their own territory - English Version


Rise of the military presence
in democracies on their own territory

"English Version

Translated with (free version)

(Sorry if there are errors in the meaning, word or verb of the expressions).

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Female police and military officer during the GETEX from 07 to 09/03/2017
Germany conducted a "GETEX" (Gemeinsame Terrorismusabwehr-Exercice which translates into French as Joint Counter Terrorism Exercise) in early March 2017 with the German Police and Army. This is new because the use of the Army on German territory is controversial due to its history with the Nazi period from 1930 to 1945.

  - English Version -
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German military, deminer and police officer during the GETEX from 07 to 09/03/2017
However, the German authorities have decided, in the face of the attacks that took place on its territory in 2016, to give the power to the Länder that request it, to have the Army available in very serious situations.


German Army exercise on Belgian territory in 2016 during Operation PEGASUS
This military turn in Germany, as well as in other European countries to reassure their population, indicates a change in the behavior of democracies. The Latin adage "Si vis pacem, para bellum", which translates into French "If you want peace, prepare for war", takes on its full meaning.

Austrian Army and Police during the AIDA 2017 exercise  
Similarly Austria conducted a combined exercise with its army and police, also in March 2017:


Swiss soldiers during the STABILO Due exercise in 2012
Switzerland had already taken a security turn during its 2012 Stabilo Due and 2013 Barbara Duplex exercises by training its military for potential conflict with economic migrants and disruption in its cities.

Swiss Soldiers
The Swiss Army is a militia army (A militia army is an army where civilians are trained to participate in military missions. They are supervised by professional soldiers. In the case of Switzerland, they are trained more than 20 days a year in different scenarios during their weeks of rehearsal). Switzerland has more than 140,000 men at its disposal, of which 3,600 are professionals.

- Map of military service in Europe in 2017 -
Some countries have decided to re-establish or continue conscription, to have a mass of mobilizable soldiers, as for example Sweden, which has re-established a compulsory military service since July 1, 2017, to thus have a mass raising of soldiers in front of Russia in case this one would have bellicose desires to take back the Baltic countries. This is in line with what happened in Ukraine with the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

Swedish soldiers during defense training
Sweden also distributed a twenty-page handbook to 4.8 million households (out of 10 million Swedes) in June 2018, detailing what to do in the event of a conflict, major attack on the territory or natural disaster.

2005 – Training of Danish Military Police
Other European countries, such as Denmark, are also considering using their army on their territory for law enforcement and in support of the local Police.

>>> Click Here <<<

Brussels - Late November 2015
One also remembers the Belgian army deploying in Brussels, for more than 3 days, following an imminent risk of attack in late 2015.

Brussels - End of November 2015
A total "Black Out" had been carried out in order to protect the population.

Patrol of Belgian military in the central station of Brussels
Since then, their presence is always visible in Belgian cities or during mobilization of personnel following major risks and attacks. The operation "Vigilant Guardian" launched shortly after the January 2015 attacks in France is still active:

  - English Version -
A police officer and a military man patrolling in front of Westminster and Big Ben in London on 24/05/2017
The United Kingdom has developed the operation "TEMPERER" since 2015, which it activates when its alert level reaches the 5th level which is the most serious: "Critical Level". The authorities then deploy more than 3,500 military personnel throughout its territory, to counter a risk of multiple attacks on its soil...
  This deployment is temporary depending on the threat.

  - English Version -
Operation TEMPERER in the United Kingdom
>>> Click Here <<<

Italian soldiers in front of the Colosseum in Rome
Italy has also launched an operation to secure its territory, since 2008, with Italian soldiers patrolling the cities and controlling access points, which is called "STRADE SICURE":
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Patrol of 3 French soldiers in front of the Sacré Coeur in Paris
As for France, it had already taken this turn, more than 20 years ago, with the "VIGIPIRATE" device following the 1995 attacks on its territory.

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This situation continues with the addition of the "SENTINELLE" operation, launched shortly after the 2015 attacks, with between 7,000 and 10,000 military personnel on its territory depending on the alert level.

French Army reservists patrolling the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2017
The integration of a French National Guard in the tactical intervention scheme, to lighten this device and have quickly mobilizable manpower, is now coming into consideration:

The French National Guard
>>> Click Here <<<

Photo of the 1st Reserve Company of the National Gendarmerie
sent to St Martin - 09/17 -

This was seen with the dispatch of two "Reserve Companies" of the French Gendarmerie's Operational Reserve to the Island of St Martin for several months, following Hurricane IRMA in late September 2017.


Operation Sentinel soldiers patrolling in front of the entrance to the Gare St. Charles in Marseille
We also remember, that the soldier, who was on patrol, as part of Operation "SENTINELLE", and who had intervened and neutralized the assailant of the attack at the Gare St Charles in Marseille, on October 01, 2017, is a Legionnaire Reservist in the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment of Laudun-l'Ardoise.   

French soldiers deployed north of Paris to provide security
during the arrest of terrorists on 11/18/2015
It should be noted that at the end of 2016, France went up a notch with a 3rd level of the VIGIPIRATE plan: Attack Emergency. This level of threat will be adopted punctually, limited by the activation of a crisis cell immediately after an attack or an imminent risk of terrorist action. It includes exceptional measures such as the call by the radio, as well as on institutional websites or television, but also on social networks, the confinement of the population in the place where it is, the closure of roads, subways, stations, the stop of school travel
 and public transportation.

French military deployed in the Paris metro
It is based on the Risk of Imminent Attack Alert scheme
that Germany and Belgium have already implemented and deployed during risks such as late November 2015 in Belgium, or more recently in 2016
in Munich, Germany.

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Soldier standing guard in front of the Notre Dame church in Paris
This "Attack Emergency" level is part of a pattern similar to a state of siege. A state of siege is the situation above a state of emergency.

French police and military patrolling a train station platform
A state of siege in FRANCE has never been implemented. It can only be implemented on a part of the territory, after deliberation of the Council of Ministers and with a presidential signature, when there is an imminent danger due to an armed insurrection or a war. During a state of siege, there is a transfer of powers from the civil authorities to the military authorities.
 The extension of the state of siege beyond 12 days is subject to the authorization of the Parliament.

Gendarmes in protection during the events that took place from 19 to 24/07/2016
In 2016, in the north of the Ile de France, a tense situation took place in the gendarmerie zone, with numerous shootings that injured police officers and gendarmes. The situation calmed down after 5 days but showed the necessity to have units ready to be deployed quickly
and the use of military tactics.

Link to this situation below:


CPA 10 exercise with evacuation of people
However, France has prepared COS Special Forces to intervene in case of shootings in cities and in support of its police and gendarmerie forces :
Joint Gendarmerie-Army exercise in February 2019 at the St Cyr Coëtquidan military schools
As part of the VIGIPIRATE Plan's SENTINELLE operations, the military trains before the deployment of their forces in scenarios they might encounter in the field:


Anti-terrorism simulation in Vienna on 11/04/18 with the Austrian Special Forces
Other countries also engage their military Special Forces as here in Vienna, Austria in 2018 with an anti-terrorist exercise.

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Joint Army - Police - Rescue response demonstration at BAYTEX 2018 in PENZING
Others include the military directly in anti-terrorist operations like here in Germany:


French military personnel during a patrol
Faced with the terrorist threat, the creation of a "French National Guard" is formed, during 2016, with the addition of the "Operational Reserve of the National Gendarmerie" already existing since 1999, to alleviate, among other things, the career military used in the operation "SENTINELLE".

Reservists protecting a street during a demonstration in support of George FLOYD in May 2020

It can be noted that the USA, for example, have been using for many years, the National Guard reservists especially in the management of possible riots on their territory as a last resort and with heavy armament in the face of the legal sale of assault rifles.
  - English Version -
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Progression of French gendarmes from a PSIG Sabre and French military
during an exercise on 01/02/19, in the military schools of St Cyr - Coëtquidan
Trainings and simulations are also realized with different units in order to know how to progress in case of intervention in front of terrorist attacks...

American police officers deployed on the streets of Ferguson in 2014
In a lesser comparison, the USA has embarked on the militarization of its police due to firearms on its territory, but also for decades, with a National Guard composed of American reservists used during risks of riots in American states or armed conflicts abroad.

Anti-ramming vehicle barrier device in a Belgian city street
To complete the protection of populations, many cities are going to equip themselves to face the terrorist risk on the public highway.

  - English Version -

PEGIDA demonstration in northern Germany in 2015
The rise of populism and the inherent risks, such as with the PEGIDA demonstrations in Germany, against migrants, but also the risk of insurgency on their territory, make democracies evolve on more and more security measures.
Official handover of the Command of the GIGN on 02/10/2020 to General Ghislain Réty

In a defense scheme, France is part of this rise in military intervention forces with the reorganization of the GIGN New Generation, 1,000 gendarmes strong, announced by the Director General of the Gendarmerie, Christian RODRIGUEZ, when the new General of the GIGN, Ghislain Réty, takes command in October 2020.

   - English Version -
- GIGN -
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Suspect questioned in Strasbourg in 2014
Democracies have to face several risks of attacks on their territory :
 The first with their citizens who have been radicalized, left to fight alongside terrorist groups and who return to their country. These "REVENANTS" in France automatically go through the PRISON box.

2015 figures of European jihadists who left to join DAESH

  According to David THOMSON, reporter and author of the book "The Revenants", the repentants are a very small minority. The vast majority retain a radical and/or violent streak.

Entrance to the BfV, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, in Berlin
The second risk of attack is found with people infiltrated among the military, police or intelligence services as for example this man, an employee of the German domestic intelligence, the BfV (Bundesamt für Verfassungsscchutz), who was arrested in late 2016, suspected of wanting to commit an attack against the headquarters of the intelligence services. His job was to monitor the German Islamist scene, about 9,200 individuals considered as radicalized.

Crest of the Franco-German Brigade based in ILLKIRCH in Alsace
The third is an internal risk of radicalized individuals of extreme right or claiming to be patriotic, like this German military arrested on April 26, 2017. This young lieutenant of German origin of the Franco-German Brigade stationed in France, had managed to register as a Syrian refugee to benefit from German social services. Subsequently, 2 other persons including a German soldier were also arrested in connection with this lieutenant. The investigation showed that these 3 individuals, apparently all linked to the German extreme right, were preparing for attacks on German politicians who, according to them, were the sign of the failure of the immigration policy...

or as in France, in November 2018, with the arrest of four people who were preparing to commit a knife attack on the President of the French Republic during a commemoration of November 11 ( >>> Link on these arrests by clicking here <<< ), or in 2017, with the arrest of a dozen individuals close to ultra right-wing groupings, on 17/10/2017, following an investigation into planned attacks against French politicians, Muslim places of worship and threats against migrants.
>>> Link on these arrests by clicking here <<< 

RAID men intervened to arrest 2 suspects in Marseille, on 18/04/2017
    The fourth internal risk is about "people convicted of attempted attacks". Indeed, it will be necessary to take into account these people suspected of preparing attacks in France, who have been convicted and who will be released after their prison sentences. As explained by Olivier FALORNI, deputy of Charente Maritime, member of the parliamentary commission after the 2015 attacks, during an interview on France Info on 28/12/17 : 
"There are 500 convicted terrorists, 1,200 inmates considered radicalized (...) You have to know that in the next two years, there will be 70 to 80 people convicted of terrorism in French prisons who will get out. So what do we do?". 
(Link to the french interview by clicking here)
Investigators in the area of the Paris attack on 02/12/2023
The attack that took place in Paris on 02 December 2023, leaving one person dead and two injured, illustrates this concern. The attacker had been arrested in 2016 for a planned attack in the La Défense district of Paris and had been imprisoned for 4 years. He has been under judicial supervision since his release in 2020, and under MICAS, a system designed to prevent acts of terrorism.
>>> presenting the profile of the attacker <<<

Illustration image Boarding area of an airport
The fifth risk, always internal, is that of those who have not managed to leave, and who could take action by pledging allegiance to DAESH before committing an attack. Like this 34-year-old man, arrested in May 2017, next to a French air base and who was planning to commit an attack...

Anti-terrorist operation in Wattignies in northern France in collaboration with Belgium, 05/07/2017
The sixth risk is external: the terrorist attack prepared in another country. The intelligence services communicate with each other and allow arrests to prevent them. We can remember the Franco-Belgian operation that led to the arrest of a 42-year-old man, suspected of having links with a group of Belgian bikers linked to the jihadist movement: the "Kamikaze Riders".

Helicopter intervention of French Special Forces during the attack on the French Embassy in Ouagadougou on 02/03/18  
We can also note the external attacks as on March 02, 2018 in Burkina Faso, against the French Embassy and the Burkinabè Army Headquarters in Ouagadougou causing about thirty deaths and dozens of injuries.

You can find the retrospective of 2017 and the years to come under this link:


Demonstration during the G20 in Hamburg from 06-07-08 July 2017
We must also note the rise of violence from the ultra-left or community movements, creating reflections on how to react to demonstrations that degenerate into conflicts in the Western streets.

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As we can see, the future requires solutions to be implemented and vigilance on the threats and movements of societies and global that can take place in any country.

Logo of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence services
The intelligence services of Western countries will therefore have to be even more vigilant in analyzing the risks of attacks on their territory and throughout the world.

Finally, we can note that NATO, the military organization of the signatory countries of the Atlantic treaty, is worried about this use of armies in their own countries to the detriment of mobilization in case of conflict:



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