This occurred to me sometime in the past while watching a special on the French Foreign Legion. These guys are some of the biggest bad asses in any form of military service, and they invariably end up in a lot of hot spots. Those that serve the minimum term of service can 100% expect to be put under fire at some point.
They simply don’t put their military at risk like every other world power. If they have problems with their sphere of influence they send in the Foreign Legion.
They of course are not French (for the most part).
Last year I had the distinct privilege of visiting Omaha Beach, Normandy, France. It was the only place my wife and I wanted to visit while our cruise ship docked in France. We walked on the beach, paid for in American blood and I brought a little bit of the sand home, where it now occupies a place of honor.
Next we visited the American Cemetery. It is indeed hallowed ground. While there, I saw a platoon of French soldiers, in uniform also visiting. I inquired, and learned they were there to pay respects and to honor the fallen Americans who gave them back their freedoms. They were reverent and respectful.
Since that day, I’ve cut the French military a bit of slack. After all, they are not responsible for their nation’s politics, just as we are not responsible for ours.