ultime avertissement

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


First attested as l’ultime avertissement in 1988 and as ultime avertissement in 1989. Borrowing from French ultime avertissement, from ultime (final) + avertissement (warning).


  • enPR: ül.tē.mă.vĕʀ.tēs.mäɴ, IPA(key): /yl.ti.ma.vɛʁ.tis.mɑ̃/


ultime avertissement (countable and uncountable, plural ultimes avertissements)

  1. (French nuclear policy) The recourse to the use of limited, sub- or prestrategic, tactical nuclear strikes as part of a nuclear deterrent, constituting a “final warning” and the last measure before strategic nuclear bombardment; also, such a strike.
    • 1988, David Garnham, The Politics of European Defense Cooperation, pages 53 and 56:
      They were not battlefield weapons but the l’ultime avertissement (final warning) prior to the use of strategic forces.
      French conventional forces have two roles: to defend the FRG conventionally alongside the allies if the president makes that determination, but also to conduct the national deterrent maneuver (to test the enemy’s intentions) prior to the use of prestrategic (l’ultime avertissement) weapons.
    • 1989, A Rand Note MMCML–MMCMLVIII, pages page 26:
      It is clear [] that the new tactical nuclear arsenal will be considerably more diversified, flexible, survivable, and capable of a larger range of military missions, thus presenting the French President with greater choice in executing his “ultime avertissement.”
    • 1991, Diego A. Ruiz Palmer, French Strategic Options in the 1990s[1], page 53:
      Soviet uncertainty in such circumstances would be contrary to the implied escalation-control intent of the ultime avertissement strike.
    • 1996, Bruce D. Larkin, Nuclear Designs[2], page 38:
      The French doctrine of “ultime avertissement” — employing “substrategic” systems as a last warning.
    • 2007, Laura Neack, Elusive Security[3], page 107:
      French policy also included the idea of a “final warning,” or ultime avertissement.
    • 2009, Marco Rimanelli, The A to Z of NATO and Other International Security Organizations, “force de frappe
      France’s nuclear weapons would be a “warning shot” (ultime avertissement) against enemy advances prior to a full-scale nuclear attack on key Soviet cities, in a “worse-case” stratégie du faible au fort (“weak-to-strong strategy”) of mutual assured destruction.
    • 2011, Venance Journé, “France’s Nuclear Stance” in Getting to Zero, eds. Catherine M. Kelleher and Judith Reppy
      This credible use, consisting in the capacity to strike precisely with weapons of a lower yield, has a concept attached: the ultime avertissement, now also called the avertissement nucléaire.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:ultime avertissement.