La Vigie Nr 201: Wild geese | What to think of the SCO ? | Lorgnette : Tigray, a forgotten war

Letter from La Vigie dated 28 September 2022

The wild geese

After having had the wind in their sails at the articulation of the XX° and XXI° centuries, private military companies are being singled out because of Wagner’s actions. The latter is however not a singularity but an illustration of what such a company can be. Its use, which reveals the weaknesses of the Russian army, should also raise questions for those who claim to be strategists. Is the development of such companies compatible with a national strategy?

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What about the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has just held its annual summit in Samarkand, and it has received exceptional attention from the Western media, which is on the lookout for the slightest dissension between Russia, China and India in support of Moscow. But the important thing is not there but in the enlargement of the organisation to include Iran and the acceptance of a dozen countries, notably from the Middle East, as observers.

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Lorgnette: Tigray, the forgotten war

Here is a war that has been going on for two years, between a federal state that wants to bring a federated state of 6 million people to heel. There have already been 500,000 victims, aerial bombardments of civilian refuges, countless war crimes (including the use of starvation), drones, clashes between army groups of more than 20 divisions each, a 5-month truce suddenly broken, a backhanded attack by a neighbouring country, the regular use of armed drones.

It’s all happening in September 2022 and no, this is not Ukraine, but the conflict between Tigray and the Ethiopian federal government. So war is not back, it has never left our world, but who cares what happens in the Middle East, Yemen, Afghanistan or the Horn of Africa?

Yet the modalities of these wars are not so far removed from what we observe in Ukraine, despite the supposed evidence of “high intensity”, in fact common to all wars. The difference lies not in the armoured-mechanised dimension of one war compared to the other, but in its ultra media coverage.

The emotion in the face of the misfortunes of our fellow human beings should be the same. This is not the case. Wealth is not just about money.

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La Vigie Nr 175 : 20 years after (9/11) | Land domain : what future ? | Lorgnette : war in Tigray

Letter from La Vigie of 15 September 2021

Twenty years after (September 11)

Who remembers September 11? Far fewer people than one might think, even though it was the first event with immediate global resonance, a strategic victory for the aggressors. It marked a turning point for America, which is not as definitive as it is said to be; political Islam has emerged as central, though no one knows if it is really sustainable. Finally, September 11 marked the beginning of European disillusionment from which we have not emerged.

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Land domain: what future?

The French Army has not necessarily been in the spotlight lately. According to its own words, it is preparing for increasingly tough wars and its increase in power, particularly in terms of capabilities, is consistent with its new doctrine. However, given the dangerous nature of the world, we will have to find reliable allies.

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Lorgnette: War in Tigray

Since November 2020, war has been raging in northern Ethiopia. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his reconciliation with Eritrea, has embarked on a policy of centralising this federal country. He quickly wanted to bring Tigray, the northern province that had played a major political role in past decades, to heel: it was the Tigrayans who had brought down the regime of Mengistu (the Black Stalin), and had led the country since 1991.

A minority (7% of the 110 million people), they had allied themselves with the Oromo ethnic group but had to leave power three years ago because their management was considered too biased. Their successor, who appeared to be a man of compromise, was even more so when he launched hostilities last year. However, after initial setbacks, the Tigrayans regained the advantage and repelled both the Eritreans who were attacking in the north and the Ethiopian army coming from the south. Since then, they have allied themselves with other ethnic groups and the federal model is in danger of breaking up, while massacres and exactions are on the increase.

The second most populous country in Africa is risking its survival.

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