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Committee 3 The aim of this report is to determine the role of the human capital of defence players (in the sense of knowledge and skills to be developed) in maintaining or even consolidating national sovereignty, which we have defined as the freedom to decide and the power to act based on a long-term strategy.

Defence players: the role of human capital in national sovereignty

Committee 3

The importance of sovereignty and human capital seems indisputable, and the question of strengthening their connection seems just as obvious in the current health crisis as in many other areas where the State seeks to exercise its will and ensure the security of its population. However, once past the point of pointing out a few truisms on a subject that might seem overused, a more in-depth study of these two terms quickly raises a number of questions.

Indeed, before imagining that we can contribute to strengthening national sovereignty by relying on defence players, it is important first to define the limits and angles of analysis. We must then try to identify the relevant levers and concrete areas of application to make our report even remotely operational. This was an important stage in our discussions, and ultimately enabled us to focus our research on the personalities who could usefully inform our thinking, despite health circumstances that were not a priori conducive to interviews. Although our recommendations are not profoundly innovative, they do suggest coherent and coordinated action in a number of available and actionable areas. Finally, it seems that rather than concentrating on the defence players themselves, whom we might wish to keep captive, it is more radically a question of creating within the nation and therefore its population the conditions for strengthening skills and awareness of the importance of defence issues. It is also a question of encouraging intermingling and therefore greater permeability of the world of defence within the nation.

The following report is the fruit of the deliberations of committee 3 of the 57th national session of the IHEDN "Armaments and the Defence Economy", supplemented by interviews conducted with various players in the Minarm and its environment.

After defining the various terms used in the subject, in particular the link between human capital and sovereignty (chapter II), we will discuss the pillars of sovereignty selected for this study (chapter III): the complete army model, cyber defence, the Armed Forces Health Service and the Defence Technological and Industrial Base. These pillars were used to determine a typology of personalities to be interviewed according to an adapted methodology (chapter IV). The thematic analysis (Chapter V) resulting from the interviews led to the identification of recommendations (Chapter VI), some of which are major for the army-nation link and cyber defence (Chapter VII).