The French government recently announced the formation of a new National Guard to protect citizens facing terrorist attacks. The move follows attacks across France that killed more than 200 people since January 2015. The original French National Guard, first formed at the onset of the French Revolution,was disbanded in 1872, 144 years ago.
Calls for a National Guard arose following multiple attacks in Paris last November, which killed 130 people. These calls resurfaced after the Bastille Day attack in Nice on July 14 in which 84 people were killed by a man driving a truck.
The country experienced another high-profile terrorist attack in July when a priest had his throat slashed. This happened during a service at a church in Normandy. All the attackers pledged allegiance to ISIS, a terror organization misrepresenting Islam.
The National Guard, which is expected to become operational this fall, will be composed of volunteers from existing operating reserves. This includes the police, paramilitary police, and military. President François Holland encouraged all “patriots” to enlist in the country’s operational reserve forces. He said that 15,000 reserve forces would be available.