I'm inclined to make a single rule change in the 2nd edition. I'm tempted to change the rule that says that France must pay 1 ops when a non-mechanised unit passes (not just enters) a FLN controlled region. Now, this basically never happens, so I might change it into that France must pay as soon as it enters such a region.
This will have the correct effect that France will put more effort into keeping regions just contested. France will also probably wait awhile before bothering going into the FLN-controlled low-value mountain regions.
Can't say I've "paid to pass thru" in any of the multiple games I've played. But I can see the impact to the French. Will keep them busy trying to pacify / contest areas. And the cost will limit their ability to launch seemingly limitless operations. Points wise, it seems the French always have enough to manage large conventional and counter-insurgency sweeps.
If you remove something seemingly insignificant then you might affect the balance more than you think. I realised the rule was there for a reason and I started to perceive possible effects if I removed this rule. There was no time for it and I wanted the system to remain the same as in the 1st edition.