LV 232 : Reinventing the maritime security model | Multiple standards | Lorgnette : Dual Kissinger

Letter from La Vigie dated 27 December 2023

Reinventing the maritime security model

Recent actions at sea against economic assets, in both the Black and Red Seas, have prompted us to reflect on maritime security. For a long time a subordinate issue of naval strategy, the concept deserves to be reviewed in depth, at a time when the multiplication of activities and critical infrastructures at sea are multiplying, suggesting new risks.

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Multiple standards

In recent weeks, some have criticised the West for adopting a “double standard”, proclaiming virtues that are applied differently depending on the circumstances. Without pointing to the incoherence of other players, it is worth noting that this doubt, taken to extremes, betrays first and foremost the loss of influence of a West that is unravelling and weakening by dint of doubt.

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Lorgnette: Dual Kissinger

The death of Henry Kissinger has prompted us to revisit this astonishing figure. The story of this young man who fled Nazi Germany to become a professor at Harvard and then an active adviser to American presidents remains an extraordinary one. He fascinates because he is one of the rare examples to have been, at the highest level, both a geopolitician and a geopolitologist, both a practitioner and a theoretician. It’s not just a question of giving advice and appraisals to those who govern us from time to time: every geopolitologist does it, at a lesser level. Dear Henry Kissinger was in charge of affairs and, in the conditions of his time, he pushed ahead with the rapprochement with China, which at first appeared to be an attempt to bypass the Soviet Union, but with long-term consequences that can still be seen today.

Kissinger was above all a theoretician, notably through two books: Diplomacy (1994), a brilliant realist overview of international relations over the past two centuries. World Order (2016) attempts to explain that there has never been a world order and that we need not worry about the disorder of the 21st century. Two fascinating books.

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LV 158 : 2021 : Blurred perspective | News from Australia | Lorgnette : those of 14

Letter n° 158 from La Vigie dated 6 January 2021

2021 : Blurred perspective

2021 will see a slow recovery from the crisis, both in terms of health and the economy. It will confirm the demand for policy and weak ideological responses to it; the security fronts will continue to be as diverse as ever. The new American President J. Biden will give a new style but will continue the tension with China, which will remain the main geopolitical trend. In France, in addition to managing the crisis, the year will gradually move towards preparing for the presidential election, which will require a number of clarifications on our strategic posture.

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News from Australia

Few countries have experienced such a rapid change in their security environment as Australia is experiencing as a result of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, the associated economic crisis and the diplomatic tensions and retaliatory trade measures taken by Beijing. The confrontation between China and Australia has lessons for the world’s powers as far away as Europe and France.

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Lorgnette: Those of 14

With Maurice Genevoix’s entry into the Pantheon, France is of course celebrating a singular author. He is a poet of nature (Raboliot and La dernière harde) but he enters the Pantheon for another work, Ceux de 14, which gathers five volumes of testimonies on the First World War. The heroic virtues of the latter are already magnified by the unknown soldier under the Arc de Triomphe. The Pantheon needed another way to honour our elders: it would be through literature. Why not?

However, without wanting to belittle Maurice Genevoix, a valiant and talented writer, one may question the decision to place him in the Pantheon. In 33 years, nine illustrious men and women have thus joined the necropolis. There is a kind of inflation, which is in line with the vogue for national tributes in the Cour des Invalides, formerly reserved for soldiers who died for France, now used to celebrate famous missing persons; what should we think of this curious “medal of the victims” which has just been created? If we want to celebrate or commemorate too much, we lose the hierarchy of values. Too much of a desire to magnify levels the playing field.

It is a pity.


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LV 150 : Turbulent return from hollydays | New strategic oscillation | Lornette: 5 questions to the reader

Letter from La Vigie, Nr 150, dated 16 Sept. 2020

Turbulent return from hollydays

The summer allowed the Frenchman to regain a certain normality. The world, for its part, has rather aggravated tensions: between a worrisome America, an ambiguous China, an Africa that is still going badly, a Mediterranean that is warming up, a painful European East, the return to school is turbulent and agitated. Let’s agree that our diplomacy has difficulty ordering these disorders and printing clear lines.

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New strategic oscillation

The current strategic disorder is stimulated by the double opposition between actors : the rooted and emancipated ones within the states on the one hand, and the imperial and tributary ones in international society on the other. The states are hard hit by this. But the risks of a global security crisis are framed by powerful new regulators. How can we get out of this situation?

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Lornette: 5 questions to the reader

As we entered the seventh year of publication of our bimonthly strategy letter, we wanted to know what our readers had to say about it. The following are five questions that will require two minutes of our readers’ attention and allow us to serve them well.

When you receive the announcement we send out (10,000 of you receive it twice a month), all you have to do is to reply (by email) with five numbers that will show your appreciation. We are counting on you.

  • Question n°1: Is the format of 6 pages and 2 articles suitable for you? Yes= 1; increase = 2; decrease = 3, indifferent = 4
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LV 133 : Pespective on 2020 | On common goods of humanity | Lognette : Ottoman Libya

Letter from La Vigie of 8 January 2020

French perspective on 2020: strategic regulation in question

The strategic disruption of the planet continues. In 2020, it could become even more geo-economically unstable. For France, which needs to refocus its strategy and rethink its alliances, this is undoubtedly the time to reassess its external commitments, to exercise strategic restraint and to prioritise efforts on public security and cohesion in order to regain room for manoeuvre.

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The common goods of humanity

Beyond geopolitical or economic issues, it is at a time when multilateralism is experiencing its deepest crisis that it is most needed, particularly to guarantee the sustainable management of the common goods that the planet offers us. Whether we are talking about the environment, the sea and the oceans, exo-atmospheric and cybernetic space or the infinitely small human body, the preservation and exploitation of these goods, which are common to all humankind, require the practice of effective multilateralism so that they may benefit the human species in the long term. The different societies and human generations must also agree to listen to each other before engaging in dialogue.

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Lorgnette: Ottoman Libya

The situation in Libya is experiencing a new wave of uncertainty. While the Tripoli government was showing its limits (that of not governing anything, despite official UN recognition), while Misrata’s militias and their affiliates constituted the last square to oppose the Marshall Haftar, who had launched the final push to conquer Tripoli and reunify the country, helped in this by his Egyptian and Emirati godfathers, not to mention a number of mercenaries, President Erdogan announced that he was going to intervene.

Let us recall the long filiation between Misrata and Turkey to understand that Ankara basically wishes to defend its last point of support in the southern Mediterranean. Turkey remains a Mediterranean power and its neo-Ottomanism recalls its past domination. The fact remains that it is well established in Syria, that its supporters of Idlib are little by little driven out by the Russian-Syrian offensive and that there is a plethora of violent Islamists to be recycled. Ankara will officially send regular troops: let’s bet that the main one will be made up of jihadist séides.

Bad news for Libya and the Sahel!


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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

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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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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

La Vigie n° 96 – 6 June 2018 : The revenge of the depth – Italian divorce – Lorgnette : Master Hassner


Letter n° 96,  La Vigie, 6th  June 2018 (to read this issue in French, clic here)


The revenge of the depths

In crises, the bottom of things is shown. So today the fragile world governance is affected by the return of the collective identities and deep-seated forces of peoples who are taking over illegitimate states, confiscated democracies or systems that neglect their interests or their real weight. So it goes in Europe, the United States, Russia and China. What lessons for France?


Italian divorce

The Italian elections are not a populist threat, as some people like to reduce them. They are a democratic alternation that breaks with seven years of “technical” governments, inspired by the rules of the EU, and have not given satisfactory results, either economically or on the issue of migrants . By dint of claiming that there is no other policy, to say that politics is useless in the face of economic and technocratic reason, democracy is weakened. People have their say, whether we like it or not.



Lorgnette :  Le Maître Hassner


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n° 91 – 28 mars 2018 : Seen from Sirius – Mayotte, island of Comoros – A hero

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Lettre n° 91, La Vigie du  28 mars 2018

Seen from Sirius

A Cold War climate is spreading in Europe and forces us to once again take the height to make an overview seen from Sirius. We can only see the feverishness of a Eurotlanic community blinded by a media, ecological and cultural overexposure that frightens our public opinion. Balances are changing and the old governance is getting out of date because of Russia and China, who are mainly challenging it, and are starting to develop a credible alternative for stability. We lose our sang-froid. It’s a great opportunity for France to start moving to the center of the game

Mayotte, island of Comoros

The island of Mayotte returns to the top of the news. The situation of this new department, poor and victim of illegal immigration, shows that the 2009 departmentalization did not produce the expected benefits. The case of Mayotte is not simply an internal matter of management of an overseas collectivity, it is also a problem of foreign policy and relations with the Comoros. Beyond this, it should encourage reflection on the French policy of DOM-COM, source of a gigantic maritime territory but also a mirror of all the difficulties of the current globalization.



Lorgnette :   A hero (LTC Beltrame) Un héros


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N°85 : Greetings for France 2018 – Cleavages that evolve

To read the French version of issue n° 85, click here

Greetings for France 2018What can France wish for its security in 2018? That the glimpse of reprieve spreads and that it can be sheltered from the destabilizing effects of the active scars of the empires of yesterday in Europe (Ukraine), the Levant (Arabo-Persian Gulf), in North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Sahel) but also technological and financial raids, all belligerents. Let it avoid the multiple strategic poachings that currently divide the planet and prohibit any form of global regulation. Let her remember by celebrating the bad peaces of 1918, to support a more pragmatic strategic way towards European integration and global governance.

Cleavages that evolveThe world faces a deep contradiction between its accelerated motion, for economic and technological reasons, and a deep desire for stability from the people across the world. This new division is altering and complicating the old political cleavage between right and left, which has long served to explain the course of the world. The clash between internal dynamics and external upheavals will explain many future events

Lorgnette : La Vigie is renewed

Photo crédit : Min Api Emke dessin

We wwish you a merry Christmas

JD and OK