In the thesis, I have studied to what extent French interests have lead France to use military force to preserve the present Chadian regime in the period 2006-2010. The analysis contains three elements; first French interests in Chad are evaluated, then the relationship between these interests and the present regime is discussed and lastly the French military policy and its significance for the survival of the Chadian regime are examined. The theory applied to conduct the study was based upon realism focusing on national interests, power and use of force.
The findings indicate that security concerns are the most important French interests in Chad and therefore considered to be central when the military policy is outlined. A change in regime is perceived as a threat to French objectives first and foremost due to absence of unity between different rebel groups; a rebellion overthrowing the present regime is feared to cause a civil war and thereby put French interests at risk. This is viewed as the main explication for continued French support to the present regime. The French military assistance provided to the Chadian regime has been of considerable significance to assure the latter’s survival when confronting rebellions. However, France has attempted to limit its support to indirect means because of the political cost attached to use of force unless it is in self-defence or under a mandate issued by United Nations Security Council. The French interests in maintaining the present regime has therefore at some occasions led to a wide interpretation of legitimising principles by France to open up for a direct military support. Nevertheless, the findings indicate that France does not consider the interests in Chad as important enough to put its reputation at risk through openly intervening in a Chadian conflict without and reference possibility of legitimating it.