From the socialist blog, Socialism Or Your Money Back
France is soon to open a military base in the Persian Gulf including facilities for their navy, an air force installation, and a barracks for several hundred French soldiers.
The French at last standing shoulder to shoulder with the Brits and the Yanks against potential nuclear threats from Iran perhaps? The Iranian government want to develop a nuclear capability just like the Brits, and the Yanks, and the French. President Sarkosy has, hypocritically, labelled this as “unacceptable”.
Well that's partly the reason but there is of course an upside to all the expense this will entail.
For the past fifty years or so French foreign policy has concentrated on the continent of Africa. But of late the emphasis has shifted to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean because “In addition to being sources of oil and potential markets for French technology, these areas are key to France's security...” according to Edward Cody of the Washington Post.
The move will help “capture a share of the region's rich arms market for the French defense industry.” In other words a nice little earner for the likes of Dassault Aviation whose chief executive, Charles Edelstenne, accompanied Sarkozy and two members of the Dassault family to the inauguration of the military facilities.
They hope to sell 60 Rafale warplanes manufactured by Dassault Aviation which have until now been slow movers in the arms market. They have been on sale for more than a decade but, as yet, only the French military have been willing to stump up up the readies.