La Vigie Nr 137 : Persistence of Boko Haram | PANG : Oceanic manoeuvre | Lorgnette : Munich security conference

Letter from La Vigie of 4 March 2020

Persistence of Boko Haram

The (low) French attention for Africa is concentrated on the Sahel-Saharan strip because of Operation Barkhane. However, another jihadist insurrection persists around Lake Chad: Boko Haram remains and has mutated profoundly. Faced with this, the countries in the area have taken vigorous initiatives over the past five years that have made it possible to confine the crisis centre. Why not looking at this example rather than persisting in a Sahelian strategy that has no end in sight?

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PANG: Oceanic Manoeuvre

The project for a new-generation aircraft carrier outlined by the Ministry of the Armed Forces to replace the Charles de Gaulle in 2038 is still only an industrial and technological dossier. It will soon be clarified. But it remains to give it a real strategic dimension as the military pivot of a global oceanic maneuvering and action capability by 2060 capable of protecting France’s interests in the world at that time.

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Lorgnette: Munich Conference 2020

The theme of the latest Munich Security Conference was the Weakening of the West or Westlessness (14-16 Feb.). It confirmed the western anomie.

After the interview with The Economist (Transatlantic Relations, LV 129) and the speech of the Military Academy (Deterrence, LV 136), it completed the President’s strategic vision of an unstable world that is changing dangerously. It had reaffirmed the need for an expanded European strategy and sovereignty that went beyond military issues to encompass standards, technology, infrastructure, communications, AI or neighbourhoods. He noted America’s remoteness, Germany’s rejection of power and the divergences between Europeans while the EU is invisible in the management of crises that affect its security and its values. Among the issues debated in Munich, Syria was not on the agenda, while the humanitarian crisis crystallised differences in priorities and competition between powers, recourse to the economy or migrants as political weapons. Let us hope that the emergency meeting of EU EA ministers will be a salutary awakening.

JOCV

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La Vigie Nr 126 : Take stock of the situation | Arabian peninsula | Lorgnette : PANG

La Vigie Nr 126 : 2 october 2016

Take stock of the situation

Taking stock of France’s strategic perspectives is a periodic necessity, especially when the scene is lively as it is now. To do this, it is necessary to step back and cross-reference the main lines of force that can be observed. We have identified six of them, which, overlapping each other, provide the framework within which France can act. But is it prepared and willing to do so?

Arabian Peninsula

Saudi Arabia is a new country that has long sought to control its neighbourhood, including the Arabian Peninsula. This purpose has been reinforced by the question of political Islam, which has been structural since the founding of the kingdom. A final factor, oil, is added to these determinants. This results in an attitude that is difficult to follow in a highly troubled region.

Lorgnette: PANG

Behind this acronym in the name of petroleum is a formidable mobile war machine capable of influencing the planet’s strategic balances and controlling vast strategic areas to defend our interests and ensure that our views prevail. The PANG is the new generation aircraft carrier. It will enter service in 2040 for 40 years and will serve what is called France’s power projection in the last quarter of the 21st century.

Anticipating the renewal of the CDG AP means both measuring its contribution to the country’s current external action and projecting itself into 2060 to imagine the conflict of the time and face it. Vast challenge, necessary and realistic. No one doubts the strategic centrality of the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean of tomorrow, and the Asia-Pacific region; economic activity will be decisive there and France and its European neighbours will be increasingly concerned. There is no doubt either that we will have to regulate this key maritime space for the development of the planet, we will have to move quickly in combat gear and be able to arbitrate tensions there. Who in Europe will be able to do it? France with its PANG! (To be continued)

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JDOK

La Vigie Nr 120 : Maritime Asset | Belgium : how many divisions ? | Lorgnette : Ormuz, June 2019

Maritime asset

Maritime news commands and shows that the maritime fact is an important part of the equation of the strategy of a globalized economy. It is a major asset for those who know how to develop it and a lucrative predation area for those who want to criminalize it. It also carries a cooperative logic that weighs on global governance. France, although well placed, is slow to take the true measure of it.

Belgium : how many divisions ?

On 26 May last, not only European elections were held in Belgium, but also parliamentary elections. By dint of talking about Brussels to designate Europe, we forget that it has been the capital of an independent kingdom since 1830. However, these elections are worrying because they confirm that the country’s agony process is continuing, without anyone paying any attention to it. This is another symptom of the serious European political epidemic.

Lorgnette : Ormuz, June 2019

Holes in the hull, tankers on fire. The artery through which one-third of the world’s hydrocarbons and one-third of China’s oil supply exits the Arabian Gulf is threatened. Where did the blow come from? Who benefits from the case? Is it a game, a bluff? Is it serious? The equation is complex. Initially, the 2015 JCPoA agreement signed by President Obama with Iran and honestly denounced by President Trump. To negotiate better, he exerts maximum pressure on this country, which neither the Americans nor the Saudis like. Behind the curtain, Israel and its desperate Prime Minister want to create a diversion. In trading rooms, oil prices, shale gas producers.

And then there are the boutefeux, the American duettists Pompeo and Bolton who will do anything to make Iran bend and block its nuclear route, as in North Korea. boutefeux also among the Pasdarans who are losing patience. We’re shooting but blank. The amazed Europeans watch as a blockade, a real act of war, takes hold. Chinese, Japanese, Turks and Russians count the blows and rodomontades and think of a world without Americans. France is on the picket line in Abu Dhabi, powerless.

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JDOK