LV 227 : AI and cyber attacks (2/2) | Vertical crises in the levant | Lorgnette: Free trade… or not

Letter from La Vigie, dated 18 October 2023

AI and cyber attacks (2/2)

This is the second part of the article dedicated to the interaction between artificial intelligence and operations in cyberspace. We draw up a typology of possible modes of action, both offensive and defensive (link to 1st article).

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Vertical crises in the levant

The Sekkot war between Hamas and Israel reopens the Palestinian question. In addition to the feared conflagration in the Middle East, there is a risk that the crises in Syria, the Caucasus and Ukraine will combine to form a refusal front.

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Lorgnette: Free trade… or not

The fabulous 1990s are long gone… the almost dreamlike interlude when the West had succeeded and won everything, defeated the USSR, imposed liberal capitalism at world level (think of the WTO), the world was at peace (forget Yugoslavia), the ‘good’ war between the good guys and the bad guys (1st Gulf War) had gone off like clockwork, the ‘developing’ countries supplied us with resources and cheap goods… ah…

Sic transit gloria mundi.

It’s no longer a time for free trade, and we’re in for a rude awakening. The coronacrisis has only accelerated the inward-looking trend that must have Pareto turning in his grave. The neoliberal monetary systems of the twentieth century, based on complacent credit and infinite speculation, will not last forever and the awakening will be painful. So we’re looking for our roots in the truest sense of the word, slowly returning to the Earth, like mining resources (for energy and industry). Extraction of rare earths in Sweden around 2035. Lithium as early as 2027 in Allier, 2028 in Cornwall. The old tin mines will also reopen there… History, an eternal restart!

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Photo credit: Ars Electronica on VisualHunt

LV 224: Africa: a change of cycle – AI and cyber attacks (1/2) – Lorgnette: Back to school,  a disaster as usual ?

Letter from La Vigie dated 6 Sept. 2023

Africa: a change of cycle

The succession of coups d’état in West and Central Africa is evidence of a change of cycle that goes beyond the loss of French influence, due to a great deal of blundering and blindness. It is time to return to the strategic method.

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AI and cyber attacks (1/2)

The link between artificial intelligence and cyber attacks has curiously not been sufficiently explored. In a series of two articles, we will analyse how the two feed into each other, whether for defence or attack, and what missions and processes can be implemented. In this first part, we trace the major stages in the evolution of cyber conflictuality since the Copernican revolution of the attack on Estonia in 2017.

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Lorgnette: Back to school,  a disaster as usual ?

It’s back to school time, and with it comes the usual stress that serves as a smokescreen for all sorts of delays and other problems.

When you look at the news, you are struck by the fact that it is always bad: everything is going wrong. As already noted last year (LV 203), the disaster seems to be total and the crises endless: Ukraine is not winning the war, African countries are staging repeated putsches, inflation is continuing, prices at the petrol pump are as high as ever, school supplies are too expensive, the Restos du cœur are receiving fewer donations but have to help many more people as the population sinks into precariousness, Insecurity is spreading to our towns and cities, the flow of refugees and immigrants is increasing, people no longer have confidence in the government, there aren’t enough teachers, the climate is out of kilter, it’s never been so hot, it’s never been so dry, there are fires, invasive species are destroying biodiversity, and so on.

We should ask ourselves about this trend to turn news into “bad news”: the climate is changing, and it is indeed becoming unhealthy. What is the point of alarmism, defeatism and declinism?

Let’s take a breath and transform the future!


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LV 157 : Assessment of 2020 | Digital maneuvers | Lorgnette : Brexit, eventually

Letter n° 157 from La Vigie dated 23rd December 2020

AMR 2020: assessment of a year that put the world out of action

In one year a serious health accident overwhelmed the planet and put the whole world out of action. And the year 2020 will enter the list of the great strategic vintages of the century, alongside 1945, 1989 and 2001. Certainly the tensions that presided over the world before the pandemic have subsided, but the strategic situation has changed profoundly, new dialectics are emerging, but no possible balance is in sight on the horizon. Here is an end-of-year review of this extraordinary episode.

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Digital maneuvers

This month of December sees several high-intensity cyber clashes crackle: whether sabotage, subversion or espionage, the powers are clashing in digital space, to a degree rarely known. Cyberspace is indeed in permanent conflict, but below the threshold. However, other confrontations are emerging, this time between States and powers deprived of digital technology: whether in the United States or in the European Union, legal initiatives aim to bring these new operators, with their inordinate means and unknown ambitions, into line.

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Lorgnette: Brexit, finally

Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the modalities of Brexit have frustrated all the envisaged deadlines. We had been told that we could not go beyond October and then November with the cut-off date of 31 December. The two parties went much further, since the agreement has still not been pronounced on 22 December. This is impressive.

On the one hand, one can only admire Boris Johnson who knew how to hide his intention until the end: nobody really knew whether he wanted an agreement or just a pretext to justify a hard Brexit to his public opinion. Perhaps he hadn’t even made up his mind, waiting for the result of the American election to decide. The fact remains that he was able to preserve his freedom of manoeuvre to the end and therefore to constantly weigh on the content of the negotiations.

On the other hand, the strength of the EU is also remarkable. While London had hoped to be able to crack the European bloc, it held out against all odds and withstood British pressure. This shows proven collective nerves that are to be commended. As for Brexit, we shall see in ten years’ time what the real effects will be on both sides.


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La Vigie Nr 121 : There is no cyberwar | Equation of strategy | Lorgnette : Desescalation

La Vigie Nr 121, 3 July 2019

There is no cyberwar

The term cyberwar sounds good and is regularly used by many: Yet it is false, which does not mean that there is no latent cyberconflict marked by opposition by all against all. Moreover, war does not ignore cyberspace because there is on the contrary a lot of cyberspace in the conduct of war and military operations.

Equation of strategy

the Grand strategy is the art of combinations. The equation of the strategy of France is simple to state, mixture of defense of interests, exercise of responsibilities, values assumed, valued assets and compensated weaknesses. In the current strategic slump it is difficult to establish, especially in the presence of a deep European crisis and a breakdown of multilateralism.

Lorgnette : desescalation

Between Iran and the United States, the rag has been burning for weeks and observers are struggling to decipher threatening speeches, avenging invective and provocative statements. It should be noted that the deregulation initiative has come from Washington for the past two years, from a president who has thrown away the Paris Agreement, the Iranian JCPoA, the INF Treaty and any multilateral mechanism that would undermine the position of strength from which he wants to restore the dominance of American interests in the world. It was noted with interest that the European clan had remained united in preserving this agreement with Iran and that it had engaged in resolute resistance to the American position. The West is nothing more than a fiction, interests and methods diverge.
There remain two embarrassed countries that are trying to get in touch with each other with the assets to do so, Japan and France, whose strategic analyses are converging more and more, particularly on maritime issues. At the last G20 meeting, which was quite disappointing, they were also responsible for de-escalating the situation.
De-escalation is the great strategy of which France must be the tireless craftsman in the world (LV 89).

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