La Vigie Nr 165 : Global Britain | What alliances for France ? | Lorgnette : Europe on a sofa

Lettre La Vigie, dated 14 APRIL 2021

Global Britain

Three months after the Brexit came into force, the British government published two documents in March to set out the direction and allocate the resources of a cross-departmental strategy integrating security, defence and development policies with the country’s foreign policy. This exercise enabled the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to clarify the meaning to be given to the Global Britain concept, which emerged in the aftermath of the referendum sealing the UK’s departure from the EU in 2016. The knowledge of these documents is essential to appreciate the future of a UK/EU relationship to be built and more particularly that to be developed between France and the United Kingdom, linked by common interests, a bilateral security treaty, an alliance within NATO and which, depending on the field, are allies, partners or rivals.

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What alliances for France?

The question of alliances is not so much about who to ally with or against, but about what to ally oneself with. It is true that the institutions inherited from the 20th century remain useful for France, whether it be the UN, the Francophonie, the Atlantic Alliance or the European Union. However, none of them responds to the integral strategy needed in the face of a current conflicts below the threshold. These instruments must therefore be supplemented by other alliances, more fleeting and less structured, but still flexible.

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Lorgnette: Europe on a sofa

The recent meeting between Turkey and European representatives turned into a farce. At the end of the meeting, the President of the Council, Charles Michel, went to sit in an armchair opposite Erdogan, while the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was left on a sofa.

Commentators were very critical of the Turkish leader, who was suspected of having engineered this bad manners. Then it was Mr Michel who was criticised, accused of machismo. In this case, the fault lies mainly with the EU. Erdogan is accustomed to putting only one chair at his side when he receives a head of state, and he could hardly have put two at the risk of appearing dominated. Moreover, he is currently trying to reconcile himself with the Europeans.

Hierarchically, the President of the Council is above the President of the Commission. One can certainly criticise the European protocol services for not having detected the incident or warned the European leaders. Above all, the Union was wrong to come with two people. It showed its weaknesses and its complicated organisation.

In this case, the Byzantine convolutedness was European, not Turkish.

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photo credit : Bart Heird on Visualhunt.com

La Vigie Nr 110 : Demographic impact | NATO : friend’s discord | Lorgnette : The Aachen chapel treaty

La Vigie Nr 110 (30 JAN 2019)

Demographic impact

The strategic impact of the demographic revolution that has seen the world’s population triple since the end of the Second World War is considerable. To go around is to evaluate the new geopolitics of the peoples, to question the African trajectory and to worry about the residual relevance of a world governance that this revolution has jostled.

NATO : friend’s discord

The Atlantic Alliance was born out of war, in the face of the Soviet threat. It had then been recycled, between European unification and an expeditionary model. But threats to the east or south were no longer enough to maintain its cohesion, while European disunity and D. Trump’s anti-atlantic instinct dissolved it deeply. The Alliance seems to be at the end of its rope.

Lorgnette : The Aachen chapel treaty

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JDOK

La Vigie nr 98 bis (18 JUL 2018) : Mixed war | Alliance : vacancy or emptyness ? | from Lorgnette : foot and strategy

Lettre La Vigie n°98 bis – 18 July 2018

Mixed war

War is no longer effective! it remains, however, but the representation that we have deceives us, from Napoleon to the Hairy and the parade of July 14 to Operations in Africa. We seek to respond to an outdated form of war, knowing that it has taken many other forms (economic, cyber, monetary, media …): as many theaters of operation where take place the real strategies of power. To fail to understand this is necessarily to mislead the commitment of the combat forces that remains necessary, but on the condition of being subordinated to a complete strategy.

Alliance: vacancy or emptiness?

An EU full of false pretenses, a helpless Alliance, a possible Russo-American arrangement on the European back, the strategic failure is confirmed. France should seize it to promote a median position placing Europe to the Urals in a stable equilibrium between America and China, the two commercial competitors who decided to go to a long war. Lorgnette : Foot and strategy JDOK