Opération Sentinelle: Is France's fight against terrorism working?

FRANCE 24 screen grab

Opération Sentinelle – in place since January 2015, after the attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo – involves 10,000 troops and costs €400,000 a day. But some now question whether it has succeeded in minimising terror attacks on French soil.


Six soldiers were injured on Wednesday after a suspect rammed his car into a group of soldiers, the latest in a series of attacks targeting French security services.The attack has renewed questions over the efficiency of Opération Sentinelle's anti-terror patrols, which have often become the targets of attacks themselves.

“It is essentially just posturing that has zero operational impact,” Jean-Charles Brisard of the Center for the Analysis of Terrorism told FRANCE 24. “Sentinelle has never stopped, prevented or hindered any terrorist attack in France since its creation in 2015.”

Alain Rodier of the Centre for Intelligence Research says that the mission remains in place largely for political reasons.

“As it stands right now, no politician is willing to dismantle Opération Sentinelle in case there is a terror attack right afterwards, because the opposition would immediately blame them,” he says.

Click on the video player above to view the full FRANCE 24 report.

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