The French Republic accepts the provisions of article 2, paragraphs 2 and 3, insofar as the terms used in these paragraphs do not lead to the assumption that an attack using incendiary weapons launched from an aircraft would involve any greater risk of indiscriminate hits than one launched by any other means.
It is the understanding of the French Republic that the term "clearly separated"used in article 2, paragraph 3, can be interpreted as meaning either a separation in terms of space or a separation by means of a physical barrier between the military target and the concentration of civilians.
With regard to the reservation made by the United States of America upon consenting to be bound by Protocol III to the above Convention:
The Government of the French Republic has examined the reservation made by the United States of America upon acceding to the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons (Protocol III) annexed to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects.
By this reservation, the United States of America reserves the right to use incendiary weapons against military objectives located in concentrations of civilians where it is judged that such use would cause fewer casualties and/or less collateral damage than alternative weapons. In so doing, the reservation both excludes the prohibition set out in article 2, paragraph 2, and alters the derogation regime set out in article 2, paragraph 3.
Accordingly, the Government of the French Republic considers this reservation to be contrary to the object and purpose of the Protocol since, despite the assurances given by the United States of America, it cannot guarantee the protection of civilians, which is the raison d'être of the Protocol. The Government of the French Republic therefore wishes to register an objection to this reservation. This objection shall not preclude the entry into force of the Protocol between France and the United States of America.