As Shock Fades, France Must Balance Response to Charlie Hebdo Attack

French President Francois Hollande, center left, flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, right, walks outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, Jan. 7, 2015 (AP photo by Remy De La Mauviniere).
French President Francois Hollande, center left, flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, right, walks outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, Jan. 7, 2015 (AP photo by Remy De La Mauviniere).
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PARIS—For the seven years I have lived here, the French military has been at war, first in Afghanistan, then in Libya, Mali and the wider Sahel region. Yet if the French armed forces were not only engaged, but at times stretched to the breaking point by their operational pace, the French people seemed oblivious to the country’s role in the fight against Islamic extremism in Africa and now the Middle East. In all but the most dramatic circumstances, casualties were ignored, and while the spotlight of breaking news at times put these wars in the public’s mind, the debate was […]

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