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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JDOK

La Vigie Nr 118 : France and her new Armée | Trump and the Middle-East | South-African disappointment

La Vigie, Strategic Letter, Nr 118, 22 mai 2019

France and her new Armée

The relationship between France and its armed forces is evolving. A global army emerges, integrated, combatant, jointed, served by an experienced high command supporting a policy whose presidential centralization is constrained to short-term by a short mandate. The preservation of the eco-systems of the various armies is essential to feed this new armée as well as the maintenance of a  strategic military ecosystem to preserve the long-term military posture of France.

Trump and the Middle-East

Some are beating the war drums in Washington against Iran. Does this mean that the conflict is inevitable? Probably not for two reasons: first, D. Trump is not a supporter of military commitments: if he is brutal, he is not a falcon unlike many in the establishment. Basically, he wants to raise the stakes to push the Iranians to negotiate a new agreement in a weak position. Not sure if they will fall into the trap…. Because Trump becomes predictable…

Lorgnette : South-African disappointment

Twenty-five years after the end of Apartheid in 1994, South Africa has seen new elections, marked by an expected but disappointing victory for the ANC, N. Mandela’s heir party. It certainly obtains 57% of the votes (down 4.5%) but it is more a vote of habit than of conviction, still less of results.

The result was greeted by a discreet and silent embarrassment: here is indeed the first power in Africa that is slowly collapsing in all areas, especially economic with an “official” unemployment rate of 28% and a GDP in free fall. The country has not made the necessary investments to maintain its industrial and mining park and security is one of the worst in Africa, a continent that has references in this field.

Certainly, the new leader, C. Ramaphosa, who succeeded Jacob Zuma in 2018 as a matter of urgency, managed to ignore the enormous corruption scandal that affected the latter. The new elite has been more predatory than reformist. The announced land reform is likely to break the last sector still operating a little. Behind the disappointment is the concern. Few say so….

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JDOK

 

La Vigie Nr 116 : Common good and defence | Notre-Dame revelation | Lorgnette : Trump and Mueller

La Vigie Nr 116 (24th April 2016)

Common good and defence

How to define and defend the common good for France in the current emotion? It will be assumed to be the result of an unacceptable common and a shared desirable . There will be concern about a latent distortion between a mobilized population whose frustrations have been expressed by the Yellow Vests and a political elite that wants to value France in its own way in globalization.

Notre-Dame revelation

The Notre-Dame fire immediately shut down all conversations. Suddenly, a “patrimonial emotion” appeared, a collective and first French emotion in the face of an affected heritage. A public good beyond all value, the mutilated cathedral touched the souls of the French because Notre-Dame brought together the opposites, sacred religious and sacred national at the same time. Some official reactions immediately appeared staggered, yet the international surge of compassion reminded us that the world still expects something exceptional from France. This expectation of France is now too often disappointed by uprooted leaders.

Lorgnette : Trump and Mueller

The Mueller report was therefore made public and the opposition to President Trump is very disappointed: there was no collusion or even direct obstruction of justice.

Let us first pay tribute to this American democracy, capable of challenging a president through a public inquiry and at the same time acknowledging, at the end of the day, that there is no fault (even if there are many ambiguities). Not that Trump was perfectly honest, not that there was any confusion, not that the Russians did not want to influence the election: but nothing that goes beyond the limits and practices.

To the great displeasure of the Democrats. Because most of their political discourse over the past two years has been based on the “stolen election”. However, D. Trump won “in the regular” (in the face of a bad campaign by a bad candidate) and above all, it shows a radical evolution already demonstrated by B. Obama: the one that refuses the takeover of an establishment dictating what to say and think but ultimately serving the interests of a few. And so, the aspiration for a real democratic return that had become outdated under the influence of economism (LV 88). Doesn’t the lesson learned also apply to Europe and France!

To read La Vigie Nr 116, click here

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 107 (19 DEC 2018) | 2018 : Changing world | 18 month of French foreign policy | Lorgnette : Merry Christmas

Lettre de La Vigie (19 DEC 2018).


2018 :  Changing world

In 2018 we have entered a new strategic era, that of general deregulation. In an intense and disordered strategic flow, the conflictuality of the planet has evolved, the modalities of the exercise of power have been affirmed and diversified, laborious transitions and arbitrations have begun. But still no stable state on the horizon.

France : 18 month of foreign policy

President E. Macron had put two words on his foreign policy agenda: Europe and pragmatism. In the realm of pragmatism, there is a welcome discretion in the Middle East, the lack of purpose in the South, the unconvincing promotion of a major Asian strategy, a misguided American policy. For Europe, despite high ambitions based on old software, the results are very disappointing. The former probably explains the latter.

Lorgnette : Merry Christmas

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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 101, (26 SEP 2018) : The return of military services – Strategic genetic coding – Lorgnette’s view: CHOD’s strategic vision

La Vigie, Nr 101, 26 Sept 2018

The return of military services

The universal national service (SNU) which is established in France will have very little military character: military service is often considered obsolete. However, several countries are in the process of resettling it, in Europe and Africa. The reasons are diverse: strategic, military, social or political, often with a mixture of all these reasons. Is this movement a mere coincidence or does it reflect something more significant? What is its strategic significance? Can we draw ideas for the French SNU, for example, the initiation of a cybersecurity module for all the young people who will be passing through it?

Strategic genetic coding 

European countries with their business cards marked by strong national strategic experiences are struggling to find themselves in a European project that tends to converge with a globalization that is drying up. This is because the people of the old world have their own strategic code that states can not free themselves from and that the economic genetics of the EU can hardly take into account either. Elsewhere, however, American, Russian, Chinese or Turkish power affirmations are shaking up the rules of the game of power. France does not find it easily.

 

Lorgnette’s view: CHOD’s strategic vision

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JD & OK

La Vigie n° 93 – 10 avril 2018 : Bomb. Intimidate – Demonstration of weakness – Lorgnette : Becoming tough

Letter n° 93,  25  Avril 2018

L’USS Ross tire un missile d’attaque terrestre tomahawk le 7 avril 2017.

Bomb. Intimidate

What factors prevailed in the French intervention decision against Syrian sites? How can one read the precipitation of the missile strike? Why did one want it limited and without military effect? What indications do these choices give to the political goals pursued? Is military intimidation still possible today? So many legitimate questions for the analyst.

Demonstration of weakness

In addition to strategic analysis, strikes in Syria require geopolitical decoding. The United States, France and the United Kingdom (FRUKUS) basically had two objectives: to restore their credibility, and to regain a position allowing them to influence future negotiations behind the scenes. This explains the disproportion between the media buzz and the weak demonstration of the strikes. Everything was designed to pretend and aim for goals other than those that were so loudly displayed.

 

Lorgnette :  Becoming tough

JDOK

 

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