Naval War College Review


Steven T. Ross


Speaking at the Ecole Militaire on 3 November 1959, President Charles de Gaulle said that the Fifth Republic "had as its raison d'etre ... the defense of the nation's independence and integrity. It is necessary that the defense of France be French." He went on to explain that while the Republic remained loyal to the Atlantic alliance the nation would not place life or death decisions in the hands of others. States had the right and the obligation to exercise sovereign choice in matters of vital· national interest.