Col Christian Barthlen spent the first part of his career in the Foreign Legion and the Parachute Infantry during which he took part in several field operations (Chad, Somalia, and Ex-Yugoslavia) and resided in French overseas territories (French Polynesia). He then turned toward services related to international relations within the Department for Cooperation and Security of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Joint of Staff of the Armed Forces and the General Direction of International Relations and Strategy.

He held diplomatic positions in Afghanistan, in Poland, in Kazakhstan and in Ukraine.

He joined the IRSEM in 2018 as the Director of “Strategic Thinking.”