LV 207: 2022: strategic review | Ukraine war: perspectives | Lorgnette: World cup

Letter from La Vigie, dated 21st December

Merry Christmas ! See you in 2023…

2022: strategic review

The past year has seen the collapse of many strategies that lacked depth and were developed at a time when the return of war was not seriously considered. The conflict in Eastern Europe reminds us that strategy is a dialectic of wills using force to resolve their conflict. A revision of strategic thinking is necessary for those who want to remain free.

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Ukraine war: perspectives

The war in Ukraine shows a stabilisation of the fronts, which may not only be due to bad winter weather but also to the exhaustion of the belligerents. Both sides are trying to build up their strength, both in men and in equipment. But despite their declarations, neither can seriously envisage victory. The time for negotiations has come, without promising anything other than a cease-fire.

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Lorgnette: World Cup

The recent World Cup is full of lessons. Let’s start by welcoming Argentina’s victory and France’s improbable but ultimately close-to-success journey. The competition was held in a good atmosphere and the grumblers on both sides were silenced: both the moral teachers who called for a boycott and those who predicted internal dissension after the high-stakes matches, especially against Morocco. Common sense triumphed and a quiet patriotism prevailed.

These sports competitions have a huge virtue: they turn the confrontation and rivalry between nations into a game that is enough to ease most tensions, especially since the opponents are random. A match between the United States and Iran gets attention, but despite the geopolitical background, the confrontation remains benign. Sport makes it possible at little cost (whatever one says about the expenses of the World Cup or the players’ salaries) both to unite nations without pushing them into chauvinistic excesses, and to organise adversities whose outcome is resolved by a simple score.

The pacifying virtue of sport, which distributes happiness and simple emotions.

JOCVP

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La Vigie Nr 188 : A difficult awakening | Attrition in Ukraine | Lorgnette : Economic backlash

Letter from La Vigie dated 16 March 2022

Difficult awakening from a long strategic sleep

Ukraine is the revelation of the strategic sleep of the Euro-Atlantic world seeing a threat suddenly appearing on its doorstep. The outsourcing of defence, the primacy of economic factors, the prevalence of national interest: these are all reasons for this abstention. Does the EU still have a heart for strategy after years of lethargy?

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Attrition in Ukraine

The armed conflict in Ukraine is in its third week of fighting. The strategist observes it from multiple angles: first of all, from a military strategy point of view, with several focuses: the course of operations on the ground, aspects of information warfare, the fate of populations or vital infrastructures. He also broadens his view to other aspects, diplomatic or geopolitical, whether they concern Russia, Europe, America or the rest of the world.

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Lorgnette: economic backlash

The economic sanctions are already causing a chain reaction that we do not yet fully understand. They are occurring in an economic context that was already convalescing from the pandemic from which we had not yet fully recovered. Now, the sanctions against Russia are hitting us and many countries around the world as a backlash.

First and foremost, the hydrocarbon market (oil and gas) is permanently affected. No supplier can replace Russia in the short or medium term, contrary to what some hope. The decisions taken in favour of electricity and against nuclear power are a clear obstacle here. In addition to this rise in costs, the fall in the euro is aggravating inflation.

The situation for cereals (wheat, maize, sunflower, nitrogen fertilisers) is even more worrying, as the sanctions affect Russia, while Ukraine can no longer export (and will soon be unable to sow). Many countries in Africa and Asia are likely to experience a violent food crisis, not to mention our farmers. It is not only Russia that will be affected by the sanctions.

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.

JOCVP

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