La Vigie n° 164 : Chinese culminating point | What is a great battle?| Lorgnette : Suez and industry

Letter from La Vigie dated 31 March 2021

Chinese culminating point

As the United States rallies its allies around the world, especially those in NATO, to present a united front against China, the latter is showing a vindictive and triumphant face that manifests a newfound pride: but does this climax not mark a “culminating point”, the one that Clausewitz described as the maximum point of the offensiv ?

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What is a great battle?

Military historians study battles. But what really defines a ‘great’ battle? Is the tactical genius deployed enough? And can the military commander draw a conclusion at his level?

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Lorgnette : Suez and industry

One year ago, when the global market seized up because of the health crisis, we pretended to discover how dependent we were on a globalisation that had ended up depriving us of manufacturing resources, making it impossible to manufacture simple protective surgical masks. The time had come to reindustrialise France.

Today, a new Suez crisis (accidental this time) is once again preventing the flow of goods through this canal between Asia and Europe, through which 12% of world trade passes.

In addition to the traditional volatility of the price of a barrel of oil, supply difficulties for electronic products are already looming, in addition to the direct and indirect costs linked to delivery delays, especially at a time when containers are already in a state of flux.

Let’s remember that after a year, we can still draw the same conclusions regarding the insufficient resilience of our economy, dependent on maritime traffic; the importance of reindustrialising and regaining a form of self-sufficiency. What if this was the real “strategic autonomy”?


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La Vigie Nr 102 (10 OCT 2018) : Universal service takes it time – Uzbekistan and the Great game –

The Universal national service (UNS) takes its time

The UNS takes its time. The development of the SNU is laborious, it is that the stake is of importance since it aims at a resocialization of France to reinforce the national cohesion. To achieve this essential objective, which must take its place in the training of young people, it is necessary to develop an entire system based on a broad preparation process leading to a call for civic responsibility by the civilian majority. Developing and implementing it will take time.

Uzbekistan and the great game

Central Asia is undergoing rapid changes, marked in particular by the ongoing change in Uzbekistan. By reconciling with Tajikistan, organizing a regional forum, proposing a common approach on Afghanistan in the face of the emergence of Islamic state affiliates, Tashkent shows an interesting dynamism. But undoubtedly, even if political control remains strong, Uzbekistan is seeking to revive its economy and above all to take advantage of the Chinese project of new silk routes: for Tashkent, this means reconnecting with a glorious past that has ensured the region’s prosperity for over a millennium.

Lorgnette’s view : Reflux

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N° 84 bis (free reading) : The world has changed – Table of contents 2017 –

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The world has changed.

The world has changed. It needs a sustainable strategic grammar that is only the management as rational as possible of a structural and fluid chaos. Here is the return of the circumstances of the world, in the words of De Gaulle.

Index 2017

In 2017, La Vigie published 91 articles that are listed in this index. […]

Happy new year



N° 84 : Entering a wasteland – Strategic Capacity and sterility –

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Entering a wasteland : Returning to the year 2017 to characterize it strategically, is to observe that it has in fact led to a space cluttered by obsolete objects inherited from the cold war and those of an illusory global governance. It is also to observe that everywhere the peoples have sought to obtain from their elites that they give them top priority and defend their interests first. Finally, it is to point out that France without leaving its state of general precariousness has strengthened and regained confidence in it. The twenty-first century will open in 2017 on a strategic wasteland.

Strategic Capacity and sterility : The strategic review of the year 2017 can not be summarized in the review of the only weapons programs, in the enumeration of some theoretical debates, in the analysis of the different kinds of conflicts that took place. A central problem seems to be to examine the preponderance of technology in the definition of strategic postures. Is the only strategy of the means sufficient in view of the diversity of the current by-passes? Probably not, which reveals the need for a new strategic imagination.

Merry Christmas


Persistent nuclear background noise

As the summer is drawing to a close, the pressure around North Korea’s nuclear power is monopolizing attention (as is Iran’s request, to a lesser degree). Their lead correspondent being the United State’s, the world’s biggest nuclear power. But in the beginning of summer, we remember the resignation of the « C.E.M.A »(Chief of the general staff headquarters of the Armies) during a budget related controversy due to, amongst other things, the renewal of our strategic nuclear arsenal.

Let us not forget that the nuclear issue is a passionate one, and that from Hiroshima to Fukushima to Chernobyl, it rouses the sciences as much as consciences.


So where does our reluctance, nay our overall hostility for the exploitation of the atom come from? The answer is well known: From it’s first use which was a military one, and a tragic one.

The military use of the atom stems from the great scientific adventure of the 1920’s that was then put to use by the military necessities of the 1940’s. The atomic bombs that were then dropped on Japan revealed the unequalled power of unbridled nuclear energy, but also indefinitely branded it with the hallmark of inhumanity. Indeed, the atomic bomb combines power and lethal lasting damage, never before seen with another explosive. As no shield can protect from it’s effects, no war based on an exchange of nuclear strikes was therefore winnable in a useful way.

Thus, after 1945, the emergence of the atomic bomb  contributed to the progressive change in the way we wage wars now. If the victors of 1945 made war illegal with the U.N Charter, the atomic bomb made it unwinnable and those that had it, untouchable.

The dynamics of strategic nuclear deterrence progressively developed on this basis at the end of the Second World War to then establish itself at the heart of the strategic equation of the Cold War. Then it was perverted in the world in crisis that succeeded the bipolar balance of terror.

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