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Foreign interference: France bad student in the “informational war”


TAll generals know this. To win a war, soldiers are not enough. Propaganda is an essential weapon. It is a poison that weakens the enemy by sowing division in the very heart of his territory. Obvious for many but not for France, which has still not realized this danger. This is the main lesson of the final report of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into foreign interference in French political life, published on June 8.

Adopted on 1er June, the report has, for the time being, only echoed the internal fights in French political life. It has, in fact, given rise to lively exchanges between the chairman of the committee, the deputy (National Rally, RN) of the Somme Jean-Philippe Tanguy, and the rapporteur, the deputy (Renaissance) of Hauts-de-Seine Constance Le Grip. The RN hoped, with this text, to wipe the slate clean of accusations of allegiance to Moscow. The final grind of Mme The Grip designates, on the contrary, the RN of Marine Le Pen as a “effective transmission belt” of the Kremlin in France.

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However, beyond the politico-French bickering, the report lifts the veil on lack of culture, in France, on the question of foreign interference, their consequences and their gravity. An ignorance that hides ” naivety “but also “connivance”. A blindness denounced by the neighboring countries of Russia who are under direct threat from the Moscow regime.

Raising distrust

Interference is distinguished from influence by its hidden or even clandestine character. It is a manipulation of information orchestrated by an often authoritarian state that wants to destabilize a country by raising mistrust between citizens and their government. It has many faces: cyberattacks, disruption of electoral processes, corruption of elites, disinformation or classic espionage operations. She wants to sow confusion between the true and the false.

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As such, says the report, “Russia is the country of origin of the most significant threats of interference posed to Western democracies”. Moscow registers “in a strategy of confrontation with the West” one of the pillars of which is misinformation. The report even talks about “information warfare”. An analysis shared by the current Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, who defined the television channel RT (Russia Today), financed by his country, and today banned in France, as “a component of the armed forces”.

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