La Vigie Nr 185 : Pioneering Chile | Strategic feverishness | Lorgnette : Lebanese impasse

Letter from La Vigie dated 2 Feb 2022

Pioneering Chile

Chile, this country at the end of the world, is first and foremost determined by its geography. Isolated, it is at once American, Oceanic and Antarctic. It has an original political experience which is currently undergoing new developments. It is also a stake in the Sino-American rivalry since it has economic exchanges with both countries. Neglected by France, it could nevertheless become a partner in the Pacific.

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Strategic feverishness

The strategic puzzle is becoming more complicated with the crises surrounding Ukraine and Taiwan. The feverishness of the situation reveals the place taken by the irreducible strategic otherness of the US-China rivalry and the strategic ambiguity facilitated by the use of deception and intimidation. What place is there for strategic autonomy in the growing interdependence? For France in Europe, an incentive to hasten a reasonable reunification of the European continent that is overdue.

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Lorgnette: Lebanese impasse

Lebanon continues its national collapse, this time reaching unknown levels of degradation. It had long been living on an illusion, that of a national pact that had its roots in 1943. The 1975 civil war and the rise of Hezbollah, a pseudo-state, had already shattered this mirage. The reality of a clan-based corruption, spreading widely to the lowest levels of society, is the fundamental factor in the decline of the country of the Cedar.

Several shocks have thwarted the illusion of a return to normalcy that some observed in the 2000s: on the one hand, the Syrian civil war that has thrown 1.7 million refugees (25% of a population of 6.8 million) into Lebanon; on the other hand, the Gulf States, traditional supporters of the political class, have stopped their support. The gigantic explosion that hit the port of Beirut in the summer of 2020 showed the king naked and accelerated the implosion of the state.

There follows a long deterioration, first economic and financial, but also legal and soon security. Society is disintegrating, the ultimate stage of state decay. This process, visible in the Middle East as in Africa, marks the end of the Western model of the state.

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