“We can no longer make an atomic submarine in France without American authorization,” Alain Juillet, a former paratrooper of the Service Action (SA) and director of intelligence at the Directorate-General of External Security (DGSE), told a French National Assembly’s committee.
Citing the example of Rafale fighter planes that France could no longer deliver to Egypt because of the ITAR legislation that prohibits the export of US technological components without authorization from the US government, Alain Juillet reminds that the sale of Alstom to General Electric (GE), for which the current President Emmanuel Macron was decisive, has transferred to the United States the production of turbines essential to French nuclear-powered submarines, the keystone of the French nuclear deterrent.
“It’s an absolute loss of sovereignty, that’s the reality,” asserts the former senior official of French business intelligence to the Prime Minister. “As long as the production is in France, we can still negotiate, but we cannot sell a single submarine abroad without having the green light if we use these turbines,” he adds.
The sale of Alstom in 2014 sparked strong protests among the French armed forces and intelligence services, seeing it as a serious attack on the principle of independence and national sovereignty. France is still today the third nuclear military power in the world after the United States and Russia.