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France: Intelligence Chief Gen Eric Vidaud Reportedly Fired Over Russia-Ukraine War

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General Eric Vidaud, who was appointed as the military intelligence chief of France seven months ago, has reportedly been fired over the Russia-Ukraine war. As per reports, France’s head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM) was fired over failing to predict Russia’s war in Ukraine. Another report has claimed that the French intelligence chief was blamed for “inadequate briefings” and a “lack of mastery of subjects”.

General Eric Vidaud previously headed the French Special Operations Command (COS) and was credited with the killing of the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in June 2020. The decision to remove the intelligence chief was taken by the French government in a bid to reorganize the agency, especially in the wake of mismanagement over the Russia-Ukraine war. Some sources also suggest that the removal of the chief might also be due to his criticism over the failed AUKUS pact, where Australia scrapped a multi-billion-dollar submarine contract with France in favor of a security pact with the US and UK.

Another source has claimed that the sacking of the intelligence chief was not justified as he was not particularly reasonable for the Ukraine-Russia war and that the agency’s job was to assess military capabilities, not the intentions of foreign governments – and the agency correctly said Russia had the means to attack Ukraine. In early march, the chief of French armed forces, Gen Thierry Burkhard, had acknowledged that the French intelligence had failed to predict Russia’s military operation, unlike their American or British counterparts.

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