France : Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications
Technology for Global Security
France, nuclear history, NC3
This paper engages with French nuclear command, control and communications, or NC3. It first lays out the situation of knowledge about French nuclear history and identifies three challenges to assessing the validity of claims on this topic: a discursive, a sociological and a temporal challenge. Therefore, it is composed of two sections: the first one offers the official rationale for the French NC3 system, its structure, and its performance while the second offers a critical assessment of the limits of validity of such claims. It is based on all the available open source literature in French and English on the topic and is based on elite interviews as well as archival research, and on a rigorous use of social scientific methods to keep the conditions of validity of such claims in focus at every point of the analysis.