LV 216: France as a heritage power | Fighting organised crime | Lorgnette : War in Sudan

Letter from La Vigie, dated 26 APR 2023

France as a heritage power

Controversies about the nature of France’s power continue. Far from its former glory, it is now only an inherited power, managed by expensive and arrogant heirs: it no longer inspires dreams, and the disaffection of its former colonies towards it has spread throughout Europe. Thus appears the real demarcation of the continent: between inherited powers and those who, robbed by the Soviets, have only their future to dream about.

To read the article, click here

Fighting organised crime: a strategic priority

In the event of conflict, the capabilities of deliberately infiltrated agents are often mentioned: espionage, sabotage and subversion are part of their panoply. However, there is a drawback to their use: if they have not been infiltrated early enough, they risk being recognised quickly. On the other hand, organised crime, which has the same range of actions, knows the country and its weaknesses perfectly well, because it takes advantage of them. It is therefore strategic to fight against these criminal organisations in peacetime.

To read the article, click here

Lorgnette: War in Sudan

Civil war has broken out in Sudan and already civilian casualties are in the hundreds, with evacuations taking place in a chaotic manner as the fighting rages and no ceasefire holds. The country had raised some hopes after a popular revolt that led to the departure of Omar al-Bashir (LV 155). Some people are surprised that these clashes are not between a government and a democratic opposition that is rebelling, but between two forces within the government. Should we see the action of the Russians and their naval base in Port Sudan (LV 123)? That would be giving them too much influence. Is it then ethnic unrest, like that which led to the secession of South Sudan? Or is it religious unrest with Islamists on one side and “pagans” (animists or Christians) on the other? Probably not.Perhaps there are some of these elements, but the background is even crueller: it is the opposition of two similar forces, the RSF (ex janjawid, these tribal militias of Darfur, see post) and the so-called regular armed forces. Two men are fighting for power and if they have foreign support, they want above all to take precedence over the other.


Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), always with your login/password. New readers: read the article by issue, by clicking on each article (€2.5), or subscribe (discovery subscription €17, annual subscription €70, orga. subscription €300 excl. tax): here, the different options.

Photo crédit : Hervé S, France on VisualHunt

La Vigie Nr 125 : The growing importance of strategic intelligence | Strategic reliability | Lorgnette : Saudi Arabia is burning

The growing importance of strategic intelligence

Strategic intelligence is an increasingly crucial activity for many organizations facing infobesity. It serves strategic objectives (anticipation, security and mobilization), does not only operate outwards and is not limited to improved documentation: it must take into account the contemporary hostile environment where information is both energy and weapon.

To read the rest of the article, click here

Strategic reliability

The reliability of a strategy is assessed with several indicators: its ability to manage uncertainty and assess possibilities, its pragmatism and agility in the face of the unexpected, its ability to combine determination and restraint… It is an essential factor in its sustainability and in the consolidation of the country’s security interests.

To read the rest of the article, click here

Lorgnette: Saudi Arabia is burning

A coordinated attack by air seriously damaged a Saudi oil site on 14 September: it is not known whether they are drones or missiles or where they come from (Yemen, Iraq, Iran?) and who fired them. The reduction in production capacity has led to a surge in oil prices and affected markets. And yet, while the accusations flourished very early on, there was some restraint in Washington and Riyadh . Here, the bogging down in Yemen highlights the war limits of the kingdom, which cannot engage in an open conflict with its Iranian rival. Here, an already open election campaign is preventing President Trump from opening a new front, against the deep desire of his electorate.

Let us move on to the capacity limits of ground-to-air protection (detection and destruction) in the Saudi kingdom or to the surprising technical innovations of an aggressor capable of launching a salvo of devices operating several hundred kilometres away: let us note the boldness of this strategic initiative and its success, as it reveals the military and political limits of the American-Saudi alliance.

Subscribers: click directly on the links to read online or download the pdf issue (here), still with your login/password. New reader: read the article by number, by clicking on each article (2.5 €), or by subscribing (discovery subscription 17 €, annual subscription 70 €, annual subscription 300 € HT): here, the different formulas.


N° 87 : On secrecy and intelligence – Trompe l’oeil – Lorgnette : From NPT to NWPT

To access the French version and read complete articles, please click here.

About secrecy and intelligence

The debate on false news generally focuses on the relevance of the media and the inexorable popularity of social networks: the quantity would surpass the quality. However, it is not just about over-media that alternately reveals secrets (Wikileaks and whistleblowers) or protects them (hacks and plots). The hidden truth raises the question of secrecy in our societies. Is it a coincidence that the unbridled development of the media has gone hand in hand with the growing role of the intelligence services, but also of the attention paid by governments to these “secrets”, all the more tasty as they were more rare?

Trompe l’œil

By reviewing the recent declarations on our foreign policy and the prospects for the armed forces, we can see that the real effort to reniew France’s strategic posture is first and foremost about the method and not about the options taken earlier. Whether our interventions abroad, our European perspective or the expeditionary dialectic and its domestic benefits. Beyond the imperative of budgetary responsibility, we will seek the foundations of our defense policy. We will be worried about not having learned all the lessons from our strategic commitments since the end of the cold war.

Lorgnette : From NPT to NWPT