La Vigie Nr 127 : The incredible Mr Trump – Europe, a continent? Lorgnette: Face to face

La Vigie Nr 127 : 16 October 2019

The incredible Mr. Trump

the American political scene has been shaken for several weeks by cases originating in the country’s foreign policy: here the “Ukrainian case”, there the Turkish offensive in northern Syria. Each time, an initiative of President Trump that provokes uproar inside: a procedure of dismissal is thus launched while the Republican Party is deeply moved by the betrayal against the Kurds. No one knows yet whether this is a turning point, but these events demonstrate the deep distrust of the United States, torn between its interests and its values.

To read this article, click here.

Europe, a continent?

At a time when the future of the European institutions is more uncertain than ever with the looming Brexit crisis, we are wondering what defines Europe’s geopolitical uniqueness. Europe is not the result of chance, it is determined by constants and France is representative of this Continent which transcends the ups and downs of current events.

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The Lorgnette: Face to Face

The face becomes a geopolitical object. Indeed, many contemporary debates raise the question of the visibility of the face. First of all, here is the question of the Islamic veil and in particular the veil hiding the face, the burka. In an open society, can you hide your face on the street? No,” replied the Hong Kong leaders, who are facing massive demonstrations in which opponents of the pro-Chinese government veil their faces in the name of their democratic struggle: can hiding their faces be a sign of oppression, a sign of freedom?

The question is all the more difficult because, beyond this question of public order, there is another question: that of governments’ control over the social life of citizens. This is basically the debate that Mr Cedric O, Secretary of State for Digital Technology, is asking when he says that manufacturers must experiment with facial recognition and that, at the same time, we need safeguards.

Once again, technology appears to be ahead of the law and there are abuses of civil liberties in China that it could allow.

The face is a subject of freedom.

JOCV

La Vigie Nr 119 : Innovation and prospective | A European army ? | Lorgnette : changing era in Japan

La Vigie, Strategic Letter, Nr 119, 5 June 2019

Innovation and prospective

Innovation and prospective studies are two methods to understand the future. They contribute to the strategy in a different way. They are not exclusively technological, contrary to a common perception. Useful, they must also give way to a change in approach to strategic thinking: an innovation, in essence.

A European army ?

The European army generates interest again even if it remains a tight conjecture between NATO and EU. Despite multiple attempts, it will probably emerge only from a deep reflection on the European geostrategic space. But it could already begin with a local security neighborhood coordination within the flexible framework of a European guard.

Lorgnette : changing era in Japan

A calendar is also a representation of the world. Muslims date their years from the Hegira, the Japanese speak in eras… Thus, Japan has just changed imperial era on the occasion of the advent of the new emperor, Naruhito, who succeeded his father Akihito. The land of the rising sun thus passes from the Heisei era to the Reiwa era, which can be translated as “beautiful harmony”, which is intended to herald a new spring.

However, this change is still a challenge, given Japan’s seemingly unchanging nature. Having become the bridge between the Far East and the West, anchored in the Western camp, downgraded to 3rd world economic power (thanks to China’s rise and 30 years of unfavourable economic conditions), the leading conservatism keeps Japanese society very far from Western standards.

Paradoxically, it is in tune with the new international mood, which is undoubtedly very attentive to the roots to be preserved in the face of the standardization of globalization. This permanence goes hand in hand with advanced technology and a certain market economy. A formula to be observed because it may herald spring.

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JDOK

La Vigie Nr 115 : Europe and Fantasy | Free strategic figures | Lorgnette : Demos in Africa

Letter La Vigie Nr 115 (10 April 2019)

Europe and fantasy

French pro-Europeans, including federalists, are sincerely convinced that this option is in the country’s interest. For them, it is a question of taking advantage of Europe as a power multiplier but also of dealing with their inferiority complex towards Germany. The EU would thus be the only way to cope with unbridled globalisation. If it has not been successful so far, it is because we have not gone far enough or hard enough, not because of a mistake in method and strategic calculation. In other words, they are responding to their fear of decline by wanting to base themselves in an EU seen as a “larger France”, which it is clearly not.

Free strategic figures

What is France’s power relationship with its European neighbours, but also with China, Russia and the United States, the strategic triangle that currently dominates the international scene? Can it be satisfied with the European response and hide behind the multilateral method?

Lorgnette: Demonstrations in Africa

Yellow vests inspire people. So here is a wave of peaceful demonstrations that are changing the course of history. The case is obvious in Algeria, where the masses of the people, thrown into the streets, managed to force President Bouteflika’s departure, while waiting for the others to leave. But this is also true in Sudan where, for the past four months and in general inattention, the people have been demonstrating against the regime of Omar al Bashir. Not far away, major demonstrations took place in Mali against President IBK (who was re-elected last year), deploring the ineffectiveness of international forces and the corruption of the system. Finally, in Venezuela, the opponent J. Guaido stands up to President Maduro thanks to his supporters in the street.

It is not said that all these movements succeed in bending the powers that be. Let us simply note their multiplication, in very different societies and with different political systems. And let us remember that similar movements in Eastern Europe had led to the collapse of socialist regimes, transitions to civil rights and thus the end of the Cold War. So we may be facing a deeper movement than we think. To watch out for.

If you want to read the entire Nr 115, click on this link

JDOK

La Vigie Nr 112 : From strategic anomalies to anomy | INF : Nuclear before to be European ? | Lorgnette : Algerian demos

La Vigie Nr 112 (27 FEB 2019)

From strategic anomalies to anomy

The military word is struggling to find its place in the current strategic debate. Yet multiple anomalies in general military strategy accumulate : they announce an unacceptable strategic anomy if we are not careful. It is necessary to arouse and mobilize the military expertise to face it.

INF : Nuclear before to be European ?

The American withdrawal from the INF Treaty is a further blow to European security, while the EU is not a party to the Treaty and is very powerless. Beyond that, this decision will revive the arms race, including nuclear arms races. It finally gives the Russians some freedom of manoeuvre without binding the Chinese. Because nuclearly, we are now in a game with several actors: definitively out of the bipolar world of the Cold War.

Lorgnette : Algerian demos

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JDOK

La Vigie Nr 109 : A tactical reading of the Yellow vests – A Europe torn apart – Lorgnette : Righteous Canada ?

La Vigie Nr 109 (16 JAN 2019)

A tactical reading of the Yellow vests

The movement of the yellow vests continues. Tactically, it shows the conjunction of digital mobilization and micro-local territorial rooting, moving from social networks to blocking road networks. Faced with the forces of law and order, he shows an extreme fluidity that manifests the opposition of two styles, whether facing the forces of law and order or government communication: it is gas against solid, swarm against stick, humour against austere speech. Faced with this political disruption, the government would be inspired to change its software.

A Europe torn apart

The June European elections will only be a pretext for counting. Yet the political storm has spread across the continent as the EU looks to the future of its collective governance. For lack of sufficient strategic depth, it has lost its initial centrality, its civilizational homogeneity and its utility for the European peoples. This is the next challenge after the Yellow Vests.

Lorgnette : A righteous Canada ?

 

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JDOK

La Vigie Nr 106 (5 DEC 2018) : French-Russian parallel | Sensitive migrations | Lorgnette : Gilets (Free reading)

La Vigie Nr 106 (5 DEC 2018) (free reading).

French-Russian parallel: here is a  analysis that examines the paradox of Franco-Russian relations, ancient relations between two countries comparable in their temperament and which have experienced a parallel history, trusting relations and the cold war opposed. With today’s Russia France maintains a critical and demanding dialogue that will lead to a European revival from the Atlantic to the Urals.

Sensitive migrations : Some believe that the migration crisis is a peak now behind us. It ignores the persistence of the economic motive for these migrations; it omits the development of a demographic gradient between the two shores of the Mediterranean, between a Europe at circa 600 Mh in 2050 and an Africa that will increase to 2.5 Mh. The security approach is now the only one proposed, without thinking about the renewal of an encalminated development policy.

Lorgnette : About “gilets“.

To read Nr 106, click here to reach the French version.

JDOK

La Vigie Nr 100 (12 SEP 2018) : A vicious strategic circle – The end of atlanticism – Lorgnette : conference of ambassadors – Fall readings

La Vigie n° 99, a strategic letter by Jean Dufourcq et Olivier Kempf

A vicious strategic circle

Disqualifying the classic war has facilitated strategic terrorism; by declassifying nations and states, the governance of the world has been delegated to transversal forces. These two vicious circles by combining creates a general confusion against which we must fight, particularly in France by a large strategy articulated on the return to civil peace in the interior and a new ambition of regional neighborhood abroad. Such is the thesis of this issue number 100.

The end of atlanticism

We must note the end of Atlanticism, visible as well at the last summit of the G7 as at that of NATO. This project, born during the Second World War, closer to what some call “the West”, brings together both banks of the Atlantic on an economic, military and moral domination. Now, these three factors disappear simultaneously, and D. Trump is more of a revelator than a trigger for this movement that comes from far away. The decline seems irreversible, but many conservatives believe they can thwart it rather than build new strategic forms.

Lorgnette : conference of ambassadors

Fall readings

JDOK

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La Vigie Nr 98 (4 July 2018) : Building the balance of power – Farewell old Europe – From lorgnette :Deraa and realism

Letter n° 97,  La Vigie, 20th  June 2018 (to read this issue in French, clic here)

Building the balance of power

Conflictuality evolves and breaks down into various modes of friction: games of go, chess games, commercial negotiations. To be respected requires more than ever a combination of scattered actions by multiple actors in various fields of action. For France, an obligation of lucidity, coherence, strategic planning and internal exemplarity to try to weigh on the march of the world.

Farewell old Europe

Europe is more than the EU, it is a distinct geographical reality characterized by its unity and its differences. The EU was built to solve a European civil war, according to an ambiguous division of power between an unpopular technocracy and states retaining the reality of the decisions: this mechanism was seized, first with the crisis of 2008 then that of the migrants . As for NATO, it falters because of D. Trump who doubts its usefulness. Initiatives are flourishing in both western and eastern Europe. The institutional mechanism built after the Second World War is running out of steam and we are only beginning to discern what will succeed it.

Seen from lorgnette :Deraa and realism

JDOK

La Vigie n° 95 (free) – 23 May 2018 : Trump, Iran, and impotent Europe – An impossible regulation – Lorgnette : Iraqi populism

Lettre n° 95,  La Vigie 23 May 2018

 

Photo credit: IAEA Imagebank on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

Trump, Iran, and impotent Europe

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal only surprised the gullible. It confirms an electoral promise and implements its policy of questioning the state of the world. Of course, it has consequences in the Middle East and on the nuclear order. Above all, it has very deep economic effects that affect Europeans first and foremost. These are in the hour of truth, realizing that the rogue state is not the one they believed. Will they react firmly or will they demonstrate, once again, their helplessness?

 

An impossible regulation

Control and regulate the strategic nuclear system has been a long process slow to establish itself in the bipolar world of the cold war. Deregulation began at the end of this one with multipolarity, tolerances, exceptions and manipulations. It is growing with the US withdrawal of the 2015′ Iranian agreement that threatens the exit of the Korean stalemate, ignores the need for nuclear power, sends countries to reassure towards a creeping military nuclear proliferation. Nuclear disarmament is not for tomorrow.

Lorgnette :  Iraqi populism

JDOK

Photo credit: IAEA Imagebank on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

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n° 92 (10 April 2018) : Nuclear Patchwork – Time is covering – Homicides in Brasil

La Vigie, n° 92 :

Nuclear patchwork

The Cold War was based on a very deep ideological rift between two well-identified camps. This opposition was a perfect match for the construction of a nuclear deterrence based on the strategic dialectic between two actors. Today, the complexity has settled: not only are there several theaters of nuclear opposition, but these still bring together more than two actors and finally, there is now a general connection of these local theatres, without a super actor to polarize the whole. Therefore, a new strategic grammar seems necessary to think about this nuclear patchwork.

Time is covering

The political guaranty and the moral advantage that the countries of freedom derived from their virtuous behavior in the service of global governance have eroded with the wave of globalization whose economic stakes have perverted democracies. In the absence of any benevolent leadership and possible internatioanl regulation, sanctions are resorted to and dangerous games of intimidation are played. It’s a collective regression. Other political and strategic models could then emerge, devoting effective alternative actors. Weather is getting worse.

Lorgnette : Homicides in Brasil

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JDOK