French President Francois Hollande has put out the call, seeking all able-bodied countrymen to enlist in a new, civilian-oriented National Guard designed specifically to help the besieged nation in its fight against terrorism within its borders.
The response has already been substantial, with Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirming that “2,500 French people have said they are interested and we are getting constant new inquiries.” As a matter of fact, even Marion Le Pen, the niece of Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front, France’s leading right-wing political party, tweeted, “Faced with the threat that weighs on France, I decided to join the military reserve. I invite all the young patriots to do the same.”
While France has a rich military history, it has not had a militia since 1872. Although the National Guard is expected to be highly-functional, the decision to resurrect a civilian defense force in the country at this time is also rooted in a desire by the government to help coalesce patriotic French…and French youth, in particular…as much in spirit against the threats posed by terror and radical Islam.
Hollande’s record on terror has been considered weak by many of his constituents, but he’s made it clear that he is serious about getting this new civilian force up to speed as soon as possible. According to Agence France-Presse, the president has said that work on operationalizing the militia will begin in earnest come September, in order that “this force can be created as fast as possible to protect the French.”
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large