La Vigie Nr 181 : On civil war | Azerbaijan in turmoil | Lorgnette : pre-2022 strategic debate

Letter from La Vigie, December 8, 2021

On civil war

Civil war is a conflict between parties in a constituted political unit. Its causes have varied throughout history, but like external warfare, it contributes powerfully to the constitution of the state (or to its dissolution). Today, it seems much more frequent than external war, even if it seems unlikely in France.

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Azerbaijan in turmoil

One year after the end of the second Nagorno-Karabakh war, sporadic clashes have resumed. Let us begin a cycle of in-depth analysis of the Transcaucasus and start with Azerbaijan, reviewing its delicate game of alliances and its place in the regional balance.

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Lorgnette : pre-2022 strategic debate

The preparation of the 2022 electoral scene continues with new candidates. Preliminary debates focus on issues of purchasing power, immigration and internal security (see above). They address the domestic issues that are crucial in a presidential election. Yet the prospect of the upcoming French presidency of the European Union opens the door to debates on the posture of the European Union and its strategic autonomy in the current world disorder. French arms export successes underline the rearmament of Middle Eastern countries, the volatility of power relations in West Asia (see above) and the ongoing technological competition. The Sino-American rivalry is more about Taiwan than the New Caledonia referendum and France’s interests in the Asia-Pacific.

The debate of the electoral campaign should, however, seriously address the strategic questions of the ambient conflict, France’s military commitments, France’s place in Europe and Europe’s place in the world, and the means to be devoted to the country’s security.

LV is preparing to contribute to this.

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LV 151 : Behind the wall | What does America tell us ? | Lorgnette : High-Karabakh

Letter from La Vigie n° 151 of September 30, 2020

Withdrawal behind the wall

The construction of walls is accelerating in this world. However, this tactical mode of action has never been able to contribute structurally to sustainable strategic action. Similarly, it reflects a withdrawal into oneself and a fear of the other when we need dialectics.

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What does America tell us?

The American election campaign is particularly abnormal: not only because of Covid, but also because it demonstrates the confrontation, block by block, of two irreconcilable Americas ready to fight, refusing in advance the victory of the other side. Beyond the disappearance of the WASP cement, it is a conception of modernity that is moving away. Finally, this issue of La Vigie looks at the consequences of the victory of D. Trump or that of J. Biden: in both cases, the prospects are not great.

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Lorgnette : Nagorno-Karabakh

Should we be surprised at the resumption of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan? No. First of all, because the dispute is ancestral and we see no negotiated solution to this conflict. Moreover, the outbursts of recent days seem to have been orchestrated more for internal reasons on the Baku side than by the desire to regain military control of this territory. The fact remains that the cannons have spoken and that some are alarmed.

Let us recall here that a frozen conflict does not mean an extinguished conflict: the freezing only means that it does not degenerate, but that it is maintained, on the other hand, by more or less noisy or deadly skirmishes. By this yardstick, the battle of the last few days would be normal.

For all that, it is at odds with Azerbaijan’s skillful policy (LV 134). The two great godfathers of the region, Russia and Iran, should quickly signal the end of the episode in Baku. But this is counting without the Turkish activism, about which one wonders here what he is pursuing: in the complicated multi-band game of the East, this is probably not about the Transcaucasus but more likely a message to Moscow and Tehran.


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