La Vigie Nr 198 : Rearming Germany | Lorgnette : an end to Al Qaeda | Reading notes

Letter from La Vigie, 3rd August 2022

Rearming Germany

The Federal Chancellor’s intention to make the German army the first in Europe raises historical, material and human challenges for Germany. However, this view is incomplete, because deterrence, the construction of a European army and its articulation with national armies are implicitly included in the German announcement. This should give rise to new strategic considerations.

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Lorgnette: an end to Al Qaeda

On 31 July, an American drone killed Ayman al Zawahiri in Afghanistan. This Egyptian doctor is of interest. As a young man, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood and was fascinated by Sayyd Qutb, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed by Nasser in 1966 and was a proponent of radical Islam. Thus, Zawahiri made the connection between this radical current stemming from the Brotherhood and what would become Al Qaeda.

At the end of the 1980s, after a few years in prison, he went to Pakistan and joined forces with O. bin Laden, with whom he became his personal physician and founded Al Qaeda. They broke with the Brotherhood and theorised a global Islamic struggle. After bin Laden’s death in 2011, he took over the leadership of the movement even though he lacked the charisma of his predecessor.

The American strike symbolically closes a cycle: that of the misnamed ‘war on terror’ which has influenced all the strategic thinking of the last twenty years. It comes at a time when the Taliban reign in Kabul and the United States is engaged in other challenges: support for Ukraine and confrontation with China. This poor record does not mean that jihadism has succeeded: indeed, it is still with us.

Reading notes

For your holiday reading, we suggest the following books:

  • Le traquenard (Boustani et Seznec)
  • Risques et dérives de la vie religieuse (de Lassus)
  • Le travail invisible (Gomez)
  • Aimer l’armée, une passion à partager (Bentegeat)
  • Traité de stratégie (Coutau-Bégarie)
  • Pourquoi la dissuasion (Roche)
  • La houle s’en allait au levant (Finaz)
  • Opération poker (Maigret)
  • Les voies de la puissance (Ancel)
  • Les guerres de religion (miquel)
  • Les abeilles grises (Kourkov)
  • Un général des généraux (Boucq et Juncker)

To read them, click here

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LV 142 : Europe and Covid | Otherness at its peak | Lorgnette : German Primacy

Letter from La Vigie n° 142 of 13 May 2020

Europe and Covid

Europe is the continent most affected by the pandemic. However, there are many disparities and these are not mainly due to different responses by the authorities. The unanimous trend towards national retrenchment, the weakness of the EU’s response and the unlikely budgetary solidarity can be observed. In fact, the crisis is the end of a long process of division that requires strategic aggiornamento.

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Otherness at its peak

The global health crisis is causing multiple tensions, both strategic distancing and tactical barrier gestures. The disruption is becoming more pronounced. What could be at stake in this brutal stiffening is the massive rejection of Western hard ways and the expiry of a Euro-Atlantic societal model whose fragility has been shown by the coronacrise. An antagonistic otherness defies the universal claim that governs the world. France must concern itself with a revival of the state of organization of the world to preserve its place in it.

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Lorgnette: German primacy

The recent decision of the German Constitutional Court surprised only the idealists. Indeed, by recalling that the ECB had to explain its quantitative easing programme and by considering that it is acting beyond its mandate, the Karlsruhe court reaffirms in law its constant doctrine: in 2009, it had explained (with regard to the Lisbon Treaty) that “The peoples of the European Union, which are constituted in their (respective) Member States, remain the holders of public authority, including the authority of the Union“. In other words, it affirmed the primacy of the German Constitution, including over the European treaties.

This contradicts a common opinion in France, that of the supposed primacy of the European treaties over the French Constitution. Of course, the latter has been extensively modified since its inception and even more so in the last two decades. No “shaking hand” to change it, then. But this French neglect of the law is not “the rule” in Germany, where the rule is held in high esteem.

This is not national egoism: just law. Whose source comes from the sovereign people.

JOCV

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Photo credit: European Commission, here

La Vigie Nr 103 (24 OCT 2018) : Unstable Germany – Contested Deterrence – Lorgnette : Civilians that have been armed

Unstable Germany

Contrary to popular belief, Germany is currently in a state of profound instability. It is obviously political, but also economic, social and strategic. As a result, it follows now more than ever its sole geopolitical interests, both in the European area and in the global arena. It therefore remains very suspicious of improbable European advances that it does not consider to be the solution to its problems. France must understand the return of this German question before committing itself to a flamboyant strategy that does not meet the expectations of its partner.

Contested Deterrence

Nuclear deterrence has contributed to the strategic regulation of global tensions during the Cold War and beyond. But today it is less effective and more and more often contested, diverted or even replaced by other conflicting modes that progressively invalidate its relevance. Inventory of these disputes.

Lorgnette : Civilians that have been armed

JDOK

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