The term cyberwar sounds good and is regularly used by many: Yet it is false, which does not mean that there is no latent cyberconflict marked by opposition by all against all. Moreover, war does not ignore cyberspace because there is on the contrary a lot of cyberspace in the conduct of war and military operations.
Equation of strategy
the Grand strategy is the art of combinations. The equation of the strategy of France is simple to state, mixture of defense of interests, exercise of responsibilities, values assumed, valued assets and compensated weaknesses. In the current strategic slump it is difficult to establish, especially in the presence of a deep European crisis and a breakdown of multilateralism.
Lorgnette : desescalation
Between Iran and the United States, the rag has been burning for weeks and observers are struggling to decipher threatening speeches, avenging invective and provocative statements. It should be noted that the deregulation initiative has come from Washington for the past two years, from a president who has thrown away the Paris Agreement, the Iranian JCPoA, the INF Treaty and any multilateral mechanism that would undermine the position of strength from which he wants to restore the dominance of American interests in the world. It was noted with interest that the European clan had remained united in preserving this agreement with Iran and that it had engaged in resolute resistance to the American position. The West is nothing more than a fiction, interests and methods diverge.
There remain two embarrassed countries that are trying to get in touch with each other with the assets to do so, Japan and France, whose strategic analyses are converging more and more, particularly on maritime issues. At the last G20 meeting, which was quite disappointing, they were also responsible for de-escalating the situation.
De-escalation is the great strategy of which France must be the tireless craftsman in the world (LV 89).
How to define and defend the common good for France in the current emotion? It will be assumed to be the result of an unacceptable common and a shared desirable . There will be concern about a latent distortion between a mobilized population whose frustrations have been expressed by the Yellow Vests and a political elite that wants to value France in its own way in globalization.
The Notre-Dame fire immediately shut down all conversations. Suddenly, a “patrimonial emotion” appeared, a collective and first French emotion in the face of an affected heritage. A public good beyond all value, the mutilated cathedral touched the souls of the French because Notre-Dame brought together the opposites, sacred religious and sacred national at the same time. Some official reactions immediately appeared staggered, yet the international surge of compassion reminded us that the world still expects something exceptional from France. This expectation of France is now too often disappointed by uprooted leaders.
Lorgnette : Trump and Mueller
The Mueller report was therefore made public and the opposition to President Trump is very disappointed: there was no collusion or even direct obstruction of justice.
Let us first pay tribute to this American democracy, capable of challenging a president through a public inquiry and at the same time acknowledging, at the end of the day, that there is no fault (even if there are many ambiguities). Not that Trump was perfectly honest, not that there was any confusion, not that the Russians did not want to influence the election: but nothing that goes beyond the limits and practices.
To the great displeasure of the Democrats. Because most of their political discourse over the past two years has been based on the “stolen election”. However, D. Trump won “in the regular” (in the face of a bad campaign by a bad candidate) and above all, it shows a radical evolution already demonstrated by B. Obama: the one that refuses the takeover of an establishment dictating what to say and think but ultimately serving the interests of a few. And so, the aspiration for a real democratic return that had become outdated under the influence of economism (LV 88). Doesn’t the lesson learned also apply to Europe and France!
La Vigie n° 99, a strategic letter by Jean Dufourcq et Olivier Kempf
A vicious strategic circle
Disqualifying the classic war has facilitated strategic terrorism; by declassifying nations and states, the governance of the world has been delegated to transversal forces. These two vicious circles by combining creates a general confusion against which we must fight, particularly in France by a large strategy articulated on the return to civil peace in the interior and a new ambition of regional neighborhood abroad. Such is the thesis of this issue number 100.
The end of atlanticism
We must note the end of Atlanticism, visible as well at the last summit of the G7 as at that of NATO. This project, born during the Second World War, closer to what some call “the West”, brings together both banks of the Atlantic on an economic, military and moral domination. Now, these three factors disappear simultaneously, and D. Trump is more of a revelator than a trigger for this movement that comes from far away. The decline seems irreversible, but many conservatives believe they can thwart it rather than build new strategic forms.
Letter n° 97, La Vigie, 20th June 2018 (to read this issue in French, clic here)
Kim-Trump : Two winners ?
The recent Singapore summit between Presidents Kim and Trump resulted in a rather flat and uncompromising statement: yet both protagonists were very satisfied.However, this is not a “win-win” agreement, since basically everyone thinks they have deceived each other.In fact, beyond the nuclear issue (yet nothing less than anodyne), the most interesting lies in the ulterior motives of the two leaders.They did not say a word and no commentator has deciphered their real calculations.They are much more subtle than we think.
Governance : towards syncretism
To save the idea of a minimal governance of the planet, we will have to introduce a dose of diversity in the principles and values that administer it, especially at the regional level because the universal always has a local color. To preserve the gains of the old multilateral structures that are going down (UN, NATO, EU), it will be necessary to focus on identifying the factors of peace and development that they carry. To contribute, France must be out of alignment.
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal only surprised the gullible. It confirms an electoral promise and implements its policy of questioning the state of the world. Of course, it has consequences in the Middle East and on the nuclear order. Above all, it has very deep economic effects that affect Europeans first and foremost. These are in the hour of truth, realizing that the rogue state is not the one they believed. Will they react firmly or will they demonstrate, once again, their helplessness?
An impossible regulation
Control and regulate the strategic nuclear system has been a long process slow to establish itself in the bipolar world of the cold war. Deregulation began at the end of this one with multipolarity, tolerances, exceptions and manipulations. It is growing with the US withdrawal of the 2015′ Iranian agreement that threatens the exit of the Korean stalemate, ignores the need for nuclear power, sends countries to reassure towards a creeping military nuclear proliferation. Nuclear disarmament is not for tomorrow.
The Cold War was based on a very deep ideological rift between two well-identified camps. This opposition was a perfect match for the construction of a nuclear deterrence based on the strategic dialectic between two actors. Today, the complexity has settled: not only are there several theaters of nuclear opposition, but these still bring together more than two actors and finally, there is now a general connection of these local theatres, without a super actor to polarize the whole. Therefore, a new strategic grammar seems necessary to think about this nuclear patchwork.
Time is covering
The political guaranty and the moral advantage that the countries of freedom derived from their virtuous behavior in the service of global governance have eroded with the wave of globalization whose economic stakes have perverted democracies. In the absence of any benevolent leadership and possible internatioanl regulation, sanctions are resorted to and dangerous games of intimidation are played. It’s a collective regression. Other political and strategic models could then emerge, devoting effective alternative actors. Weather is getting worse.
The first is that of Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the Catalan independence movement. After having been constantly maximalist these past five years, always choosing the most radical way, he’s hesitating. While he had just organized a referendum, albeit very controversial and foregoing any democratic guarantees we can expect from any State, be it African or fallen under the watchful eye of the « International Community », here he is balking at the ultimate hurdle. Declaring without really declaring, but declaring Catalan independence and provoking dissatisfaction from everyone, Spaniards and Catalans alike whether they are anti-independence, or fairly to vehemently pro-independence… Mind boggling. In fact, the Spanish PM, Mr Rajoy asked Mr Puigdemont to clarify what he meant by his obtuse declaration…
The second is the declaration of D. Trump voicing all the bad things he had to say about the Iranian nuclear deal, and then in the end asked Congress to seriously think about it even if he thinks they shouldn’t certify the deal. Do you understand ? We don’t. Is he for it ? Against it ? He’s against it, but not enough to it, just enough to not say he’s for it. So here we have a non-decision that only has disadvantages : It aggravates the Iranians, turns the International Community against him, doesn’t weigh in the balance, leaves it up to Congress…(see Thomas Flichy de La Neuville‘s article).
Many examples of these non-decisive decisions could be given.
They illustrate the contemporary difficulty with doing real politics. The end of ideologies and collective causes prevents the formation of new divides that orders society and incites them to regulate themselves. An impression of disorder and inefficiency then follows due to the gap between a system that is too complex and the peoples aspiration for cut and dry simplicity. Non-completion becomes the norm and clogs up situations in unsatisfactory middle ground.