LV 240: India at the centre of the power game | War economy | Lorgnette: Junta in trouble

Letter from La Vigie, dated 17 April 2024


India at the centre of the power game

Changes in the strategic context, marked by the growing importance of the Indo-Pacific, are tending to give the Indian Ocean a central role. India, the only credible power in the region, is taking advantage of this to position itself at the barycentre of the power game, between non-alignment and multi-alignment.

To read the article, click here

War economy

The war economy has returned to the public discourse in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Yet this concept belongs to historical circumstances (the twentieth century) that are far removed from the country’s current situation. So why are the authorities using this expression?

To read the article, click here

Lorgnette: Junta in trouble

The Burmese junta continues to suffer setbacks. The Karen insurgents, who have rallied to the NUG (Government of National Unity), have just taken the town of Myawaddy, the most important crossing point to Thailand. Since the offensive launched last October, the junta’s opponents have scored a series of successes. While the junta retains control of the skies (thanks to Russian support), its troops on the ground are shaky. Defections are multiplying to such an extent that the junta decided in February to resort to conscription, which has exacerbated the population exodus. It is estimated that in the three years since the end of Burma’s democratic spring, the population of 54 million people has been made up of almost 100,000 refugees and 1.6 million displaced persons.

Is this the end? It is too early to say, because for the moment it is mainly the margins of the country that are being taken over by the rebellion, not the ethnic Burmese heartland, which remains under the overall control of the regime. The regime has little support, but many of its neighbours fear, without saying so, a Burmese chaos. China, which is officially silent on the principle of non-interference, is unhappy to see the Burmese alliance unravel: its aim was to develop direct access to the Bay of Bengal.


Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), always with your login/password. New readers: read the article by issue, by clicking on each article (€2.5), or subscribe (discovery subscription €17, annual subscription €70, orga. subscription €300 excl. tax): here, the different options.

Photo credit: MEAphotogallery on

LV 206: Back from Singapore | High intensity: taking the high road | Lorgnette: The Kertch bridge

Letter from La Vigie dated 7 December 2022

Back from Singapore

On his return from a visit to Singapore, the strategist was stunned by what he had seen: here was the capital of globalisation, succeeding in physically and culturally reuniting the East and the West, which, according to Kipling, “will never meet“. And yet, Singapore demonstrates the opposite…

To read the article, click here

High intensity: taking the high road

The prevailing discourse, especially since the new phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war started on 24 February 2022, insists on the need for the French armed forces to be prepared to be engaged in a ‘high intensity’ war scenario. While leaving the decision to modify the operational contract of our expeditionary armies to the political power, let us lend ourselves to the exercise: inspired by what we can observe in Ukraine, what are the lessons that we must (re)learn to be able to fight such battles?

To read the article, click here

Lorgnette: The Kerch Bridge

On the night of 7-8 October, the Ukrainians managed, to the surprise of everyone, to hit the Kerch Bridge, presumably with the help of a naval drone. This was not only a serious blow to Russian logistics but also a deliberate attack on one of the symbols of Crimea’s attachment to Russia.

On 5 December, barely two months later, Vladimir Putin visited the bridge, which he himself had inaugurated on 15 May 2018.

This visit, which few people expected, is rich in lessons. If Putin travels to and from this bridge in person without any problems, it is because he is healthy enough to do so, that he is not afraid to be absent from places of power despite the conspirators, that he manages to move without foreign intelligence anticipating it, that Russian engineering is working hard and that there is no question, despite the withdrawal from Kherson, of abandoning Crimea.

At the same time, the Ukrainians managed to hit two strategic bases 800 km inside Russia. The political stakes are rising on both sides.

This war is far from over.

Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), always with your login/password. New readers: read the article by issue, by clicking on each article (€2.5), or subscribe (discovery subscription €17, annual subscription €70, orga. subscription €300 excl. tax): here, the different options.


photo credit: Ray in Manila on VisualHunt

La Vigie Nr 194 : India is on its way | Conceptual wavering | Lorgnette : God save the Queen

Letter from La Vigie, dated 8 June 2022

India is on its way

India is attracting little interest, even though its rank among nations is growing steadily. Its strategy remains marked by its cumbersome neighbours (Pakistan, China), but its tradition of non-alignment makes it resistant to American neo-imperial embroilment. This is an opportunity for France, which is in good agreement with this South Asian power, an agreement that goes beyond signed contracts.

To read the article, click here

Conceptual wavering

From strategic compass to strategic concept, there is a general wavering as the war in Ukraine seems to be stalling. It is the moment of the first assessments among the Europeans who are divided on the way to go. It is perhaps also the time for France to question its defence posture, to take its time to find out how to integrate the lessons of the strategic surprises coming from Moscow and Kiev.

To read the article, click here

Lorgnette: God save the Queen

The Queen of England has just celebrated her jubilee, the 70th anniversary of her reign. The longevity is understandably surprising, but not as surprising as the popular fervour that has surrounded these celebrations. A silent sovereign, the Queen nevertheless won the support of her subjects thanks to her remarkable demeanour and reserve: who was not impressed by her brief three-minute statement at the time of the Covid pandemic, calling on her compatriots to hold on? It was a change from the lengthy speeches made by other leaders.


Yet it is not this exemplary role played by an exceptional personality over these 70 years that counts. It is the tribute to the last human being who came close to the political management of the Second World War. It is true that she had no decision-making power at the time, but she already had the awareness of a national mobilisation to resist the enemy.

This memory is still prominent in contemporary England, which cannot be understood if we ignore the pride of having resisted with sweat, blood and tears. Elizabeth II is also a witness to that moment, to that sacred union of the British people. May God keep you!

Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), always with your login/password. New readers: read the article by issue, by clicking on each article (€2.5), or subscribe (discovery subscription €17, annual subscription €70, orga. subscription €300 excl. tax): here, the different options.


photo credit: Al Jazeera English on Visualhunt

La Vigie Nr 186 : African coups | Torn Georgia | Lorgnette : Indonesian opening

African coups

The recent coups in Mali and Burkina Faso show the disappointment of African elites and populations towards France. This can be explained by a major strategic error, a mixture of good conscience, overuse of the military tool, inappropriate governance manoeuvres and, finally, misunderstood and therefore misimplemented interests. France has disappointed and it is to blame. It must draw the consequences.

To read the article, click here

Georgia torn

Georgia is the only country in the Transcaucasus that is open to the West, to the Black Sea, to Europe. The country is haunted by the demons of conflict with separatist provinces and its complicated relationship with Russia. Its attempt at rapprochement with the United States ended in failure, especially militarily, but Georgia has since embarked on a new path towards the European Union. Perhaps this is not a bad idea!

To read the article, click here

Lorgnette: Indonesian opening

The recent sale of 42 Rafale fighters to Indonesia is welcome, for obvious industrial reasons. If it is not sure that it favours French defence, it constitutes on the other hand an asset in our foreign policy, in particular in South-East Asia, a more accurate term here than Indo-Pacific. It should also be noted that this sale is accompanied by that of two Scorpene submarines. The AUKUS affront has been repaired (LV 176).

Paradoxically, it may have served its purpose. Indeed, like many countries in the region, Indonesia is careful to maintain a policy of balance between China and the United States, ensuring that it is not too dependent on either. It had been following our strategic and industrial partnership with India with interest, which prompted it to consider our offer carefully. But it is very likely that the Australians’ unilateral decision played a role: by considering that France was not secure enough, Australia proved that, on the contrary, France had a balanced position in the region. This was probably the decisive argument for Jakarta. Thus, in addition to India and Singapore, France obtains a third partner in this South and South-East Asia. Let’s hope it won’t be the last.

Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), always with your login/password. New readers: read the article by issue, by clicking on each article (€2.5), or subscribe (discovery subscription €17, annual subscription €70, orga. subscription €300 excl. tax): here, the different options.


Photo credit : alicroche on VisualHunt

LV 145 : Japan and France: maritime strategies | Army’s strategic vision | Lorgnette: Sino-Indian tensions

Letter from La Vigie Nr 145, dated 24th June 2020

Japan and France: maritime strategies

France and Japan, comparable G7 countries, linked by an exceptional partnership, are similarly confronted with the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. In search of new levers to revive their economies, they are among the world’s leading oceanic powers and can count on their national maritime strategies to make the most of their assets. The global, bilateral and inter-ministerial maritime dialogue, which opened in Noumea in September 2019, is a pioneering tool enabling them to launch open projects at the scale of the maritime spaces of Europe and the Indo-Pacific, in the service of the reasoned development and preservation of the world ocean.

Click here to read the article.

Army’s Strategic Vision

The central argument of this reflection is the return to high intensity. It goes without saying that after thirty years of land-based operations of all kinds (peacekeeping, counter-insurgency, etc.) we are seeing a hardening of land-based armed conflicts outside. In order to cope with this, the army will have to be toughened up. It should be noted that this global vision does not cover the national territory.

Click here to read the article

Lorgnette: Sino-Indian tensions

China and India clashed on 15 June in a high valley in Ladakh, on the Himalayan borders of the two countries, on the shores of Kashmir, itself the object of friction between India and Pakistan (LV 113). In a valley at more than 4000 m., unarmed border guards clashed with stones and sticks, causing the deaths of about twenty Indians and perhaps forty Chinese. It is believed that the Chinese set up tents in a disputed area. Both countries have since increased their appeasement measures.

Yet the affair is worrying: firstly, because Kashmir is the other explosive region in Central Asia (apart from Afghanistan) that involves three nuclear powers, in a context of state claims (which we note in this issue). But also because China seems to want to apply on the banks of the Galwan River the fait accompli policy it has practised in the South China Sea. The only difference is that here it is challenging not middle powers but India, itself a nationalist, which can use this as a pretext to make up for poor economic results.

This is worrying.


Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf number (here), always with your login/password. New reader: read the article in the issue, by clicking on each article (2.5 €), or by subscribing (discovery abo 17 €, annual abo 70 €, orga abo 300 € HT): here, the different formulas.

Photo credit: French Army

La Vigie Nr 113 : The taste of peace | Geo XXI | Lorgnette : Tension in Cashmere

La Vigie nr 113 (13 MAR 19).

The taste of peace

Everyone talks about peace but many are satisfied with the disappearance of the hard war. It is not to see that this pacified world is leaving more and more free for multiple conflicts, a new “war” that goes hand in hand with liberal globalization. Peace is no longer an absolute value and surpasses all others, and therefore the taste for peace withers. Yet, in their demand for security, that is what the peoples demand.


In a non-compliant and multiple world, the global geostrategy is undergoing a new evolution that must articulate at the beginning of the 21st century heterogeneity and interdependence, the strategic virtualization that digital transformation allows and the geopolitical regionalization that rebalances globalization. To be taken into account by France to take advantage of it.

Lorgnette : Tension in Cashmere

To read the articles, click here.