President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that terrorism posed the greatest threat to France as he presented his new defence strategy.
"Today, the most immediate threat is that of a terrorist attack", Sarkozy said in an address to some 3,000 senior officers in Paris. "The threat is there, it is real and we know that it can tomorrow take on a new form, even more serious, with nuclear, chemical and biological means," he said.
Sarkozy was presenting a major overhaul of the French military to cut the size of the armed forces, beef up intelligence with major investments in technology and set a course for France's return to NATO command.
The new security doctrine followed the release of the first review in 14 years of the French military in a white paper drafted by a blue-ribbon panel of 35 experts.