“The Middle East we have known is over. We see that Syria is already divided on the ground, that the regime is controlling only a small part of the county, only one-third of the country which was established after WWII. We have the same thing in Iraq. I doubt really that one can come back to the previous situation.”
DGSE Director Bernard Bajolet
The Director of the French secret service — the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) — is expected to retire on May 21 2017. Who will replace him? Let us take a look at the top candidates. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
Four French Intel Agency Directors are about to retire just when the country is preparing to elect a new President.
NOTE: The first round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held on 23 April 2017. Should no candidate win a majority, a run-off election between the top two candidates will be held on May 7 2017.
Bernard Bajolet (DGSE), Patrick Calvar (DGSI), René Bailly (DRPP) and Christophe Gomart (DRM) are all going to retire in the space of a few weeks. Without a doubt, choosing their successors will be one of the highest priority of the next French President.
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Bernard Bajolet (born 21 May 1949) is a French diplomat. On April 10, 2013, he was appointed as Head of the French secret service, the Directorate-General for External Security (Direction générale des services extérieurs). Bernard Bajolet must legally retire on May 21 2017. (He will then be 68.)
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Obviously, the appointment of a new DGSE Director will be one of the first major decision to be made by the newly elected French President. (Unless, the government pulls a legal trick to keep him at the helm a bit longer…)
The front-runners are rumored to be Bernard Emié and André Parant. Both men are diplomats. The former is the ambassador in Algiers while the second is the ambassador in Cairo. Like Bajolet, they are experts of the Arab world. (The name of third diplomat is also mentioned: Michel Miraillet.)
Bernard Emié (born 6 September 1958) is a French career diplomat, who currently serves as High Commissioner in Algiers since 1 August 2014.
Emié was the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011 until 2014, and previously Ambassador to Turkey at Ankara.
Emié is leaving his post in Algiers. He should be replaced by Xavier Driencourt.
The other top candidate for the post is André Parant, the French ambassador in Cairo.
Although it has happened in past, it is today unlikely that the job could go to a ‘Prefet’ (Policeman).
It is also very unlikely that the job would be given to a military. Both the DRM and the DRSD are already headed by Generals. The second in command at the DGSE and the DGSE DO are also military people.
Beside a diplomat, the only realistic possibility would be an insider. (Although, it has never happened before…) Marc Pimond is the current Director of Intelligence [DGSE — Directeur du renseignement (DR)]. He is a counter-terrorism expert and quite savvy on the Arab world.