In Europe, reality is always away on TDY:
The Air Force and Navy, in an undeclared competition to use the first Rafale against the Taleban, are deploying the new French multi-role fighter at the same time, with its new ground attack capability (F2 standard.) Having left France last week, three Air Force Rafales have been based in Tajikistan since Monday [12 March]. They were due to make their first flight yesterday. Three more have joined the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle via Djibouti.So, I guess that as long as there’s a product coming to market to demonstrate, use of aerial bombing is perfectly okay.
This deployment is something of an event for both forces. It is indeed the Rafale's real baptism of fire, since these aircraft will be used in ground attack missions, whereas hitherto they have been used only for surveillance over Afghanistan. "At the operational level, the aircraft's multi-role capability permits a leap forward," Air Force Chief General Stephane Abrial explained.
To deploy the new fighter in Afghanistan it was necessary to pursue a crash programme, since the possibility of delivering laser-guided bombs was not initially envisaged.In other words, they could only have been envisioning the indiscriminate use of unguided gravity weapons when they designed this thing to support ground operations. This brings us to the delusional, slanderous scribble of the day:
It is not the beginning of a withdrawal, but just seems like one. The French contingent in Cote d'Ivoire is to be reduced by 500 men during the coming weeks, from some 3,000 troops to 3,000Maybe they were breeding while they were there.
[figures as received].