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Richard Aubin (Napoleon's World)

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Jean Richard Aubin II (December 18, 1924 - April 3, 2012) was a French bureaucrat and politician best known for serving 12 years as the Minister of Defense (July 1978-October 1990) under Emperor Albert II. As Defense Minister, Aubin was inarguably Albert's most trusted advisor both in foreign policy and security matters, and was generally regarded as considerably more powerful than the number of State Ministers who were ostensibly his superior (in name only, in Aubin's case) during his career at the Ministry of Defense. A career bureaucrat, Aubin unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the General Assembly's Champer of Deputies in 1961 representing his hometown of Nancy.

Aubin's tenure included the escalation of French support and supplying of arms to the Savala regime in Brazil, the counterattacks against Maghrebi rebels in southern Algeria in 1980, the decision to escalate French interventionism in Vietnam during the early phases of the Indochina Conflicts, and was the lone member of the Cabinet of Ministers to dissent to French intervention in the Third Iberian War, a position Albert II eventually adopted, revealing his power. Frustrated at being repeatedly denied the position of State Minister despite his years of service and dissenting to Albert II's decision to consult the General Staff on the escalation in Siam instead of him, Aubin resigned abruptly in October of 1990 under the guise of "retiring," never reconciling himself with the Emperor or other powerful Ministers in the 1990's. Many French historians believe that had Aubin remained at the Defense Ministry during the Siamese War, the conflict's outcome may have been different, although many historians both in France and elsewhere dispute this theory.

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