VIPS Memo to Joe Biden: The French Road to World War

On March 24, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, an organization of former U.S. military and intelligence officers, sent an urgent warning to President Biden urging him to avoid the path to nuclear conflict proposed by French President Macron.

The memo begins: “France is reportedly preparing to dispatch a force of some 2,000 troops — roughly a reinforced brigade built around an armored battalion and two mechanized battalions, with supporting logistical, engineering, and artillery troops attached — into Ukraine sometime in the not-so-distant future.

This force is purely symbolic, inasmuch as it would have zero survivability in a modern high-intensity conflict of the scope and scale of what is transpiring in Ukraine today. It would not be deployed directly in a conflict zone, but would serve either as (1) a screening force/tripwire to stop Russia’s advance; or (2) a replacement force deployed to a non-active zone to free up Ukrainian soldiers for combat duty. The French Brigade reportedly will be supplemented by smaller units from the Baltic states.

This would be introducing combat troops of a NATO country into a theater of war, making them ‘lawful targets’ under the Law of War.” While President Macron may believe Russia would not attack the French troops, the VIPS warn that Russia is highly likely to “quickly destroy/degrade” the combat viability of any such contingent. In such a case, Macron may calculate that the NATO alliance would intervene under Article 5 of the NATO Charter. “Such intervention would likely take the form of aircraft operating from NATO nations—and perhaps include interdiction missions against tactical targets inside Russia.

Doctrinally, and by legal right, Russia’s response would be to launch retaliatory strikes also against targets in NATO countries. If NATO then attacks strategic targets inside Russia, at that point Russia’s nuclear doctrine takes over, and NATO decision-making centers would be hit with nuclear weapons.”

Faced with this danger, the signers of the VIPS memo urge Europeans and Americans to understand the French proposal would lead to “inevitable self-destruction”. The complete memo can be read here. Among the signers are names well known to our readers, including William Binney, Graham E. Fuller, Jim Jatras, Larry Johnson, Col. Douglas Macgregor, Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter and Coleen Rowley.

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