But based on the White Book, statements by government and military officials, and reactions from leading politicians and nongovernment analysts, a reasonably clear picture has emerged on three questions:
5) The White Book seems to go one step further, hinting at a possible cause-and-effect relationship between a potential war "in one of the zones of European strategic interest" and a catastrophic terrorist attack on European territory.
The White Book also evokes the possibility of sudden and "devastating" state-on-state crises in Asia and warns of volatile, nonmilitary threats ranging from cyberattacks to pandemics, mass migration (exacerbated by climate change), and interruptions in energy supplies.
According to the White Book, nearly all of these security concerns devolve from, or are accentuated by, globalization.
This is another change from the 1994 White Book, which focused on external military operations and paid scant attention to links between domestic security and external threats.
Not surprisingly, the country's national security interests, as defined by the White Book, follow classical lines in French strategic thinking: defending France's territory and population; assuring its contribution to European and international security; and protecting its democratic principles, such as individual liberty and human dignity.
Still, the White Book contains noteworthy shifts in strategic emphasis.
The White Book emphasizes that greater investment in, and more efficient organization of, the knowledge-anticipation function is critical to preserving French "autonomy"--a theme that appears repeatedly, explicitly or implicitly, throughout the document.
The White Book, however, offers somewhat more systematic criteria.
Official statements on French nuclear doctrine traditionally have been opaque, and the White Book is no exception.
The White Book, however, does not tie the president's hands.
That the White Book would deal carefully with this inconvenient truth comes as no surprise, given the strong attachment of the French polity to the notion of "independence.