LV 144 : Getting ahead of the game | Missing : scinetific authority | Bartering in the Sahara

Letter from La Vigie n° 144 of 10 June 2020

Getting ahead of the game

In order for France to cope with the current crisis as the health shock subsides, the strategist recommends that it should give a new, realistic strategic impetus and envisage an ambitious renewal of its national paradigm. These two axes are the keys to a long-term project.

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Missing: scientific authority

The pandemic is not a geopolitical turning point, but it is accelerating underlying trends. Among these, the collapse of the authorities continues. Scientific authority was one of the last remaining. However, the influence of scientists has lost much in the crisis, whether in the analysis of the virus or in the major debates on the different types of treatment for the disease. This does not mean the end of scientific progress, far from it. But the public authority of the word of scientists, thanks to their legitimacy and neutrality, has suffered from the interests they were able to defend. This further weakens the cohesion of societies.

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Lorgnette: Bartering in the Sahara

The death of Abdelmalek Droukdal, an Islamist leader of AQIM in Mali, may be just a tactical success. Perhaps it is also a sign of a broader movement. Indeed, things are moving in Mali as they are in Algeria. In Mali, the last legislative elections have apparently not changed the political balance. However, IBK, the Malian president, has understood that there is a need to move and to do so, to negotiate with both the Tuaregs and the Peuls.

In Algeria, the new President Tebboune has controlled the hirak. He has launched a constitutional amendment that allows Algeria to commit the army across the borders. This does not concern Morocco, but rather the borders to the east, because the situation in Libya is evolving in favour of Turkey’s protégés, which is worrying Algiers.

The south therefore had to be guaranteed. A Droukdal was not only Islamist but Algerian, and he wanted to prevent the subtle bartering in the south. So one can imagine that Algiers let him go, so as to stabilise the Sahara and have a free hand. The fact remains that IBK, the Malian president, has been too late and that large demonstrations are calling for his resignation. Not ideal for negotiating, perhaps enough to finally decide to move.

JOCV

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LV 136 : Nuclear deterrence : the satus quo | Ecology and strategy | Mali : speaking the truth

Letter from La Vigie, 19 FEB 2020

Nuclear deterrence: the status quo

An analysis of the nuclear deterrence discourse of the current legislature shows an assumed continuity and a fairly theoretical openness to a European strategic nuclear perspective. One will readily subscribe to this agreed caution. The reactions recorded reveal a rhetoric whose meaning is fading and priority is fading despite the current disorder.

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Ecology and strategy

The preservation of the environment is a global priority, yet it is rarely mentioned by strategists. However, when it comes to managing scarce resources, there is an opposition between a political vision (ecology) and an economic vision (economy), despite the ideological excesses of some. A response to this global problem should logically be multilateral: the American withdrawal from the Paris agreements hinders this approach. Something else must be imagined, all the more so as the strategic factor will weigh more and more heavily in tomorrow’s conflicts, a prospective that must be examined today.

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Lorgnette: Mali: speaking the truth, the end of denial?

By confirming the offer of direct contacts with Iyad Ag Ghali and Amadou Koufa, two emblematic jihadist leaders, IBK, the Malian Head of State transcends the inclusive national dialogue. What does he have to offer?

Probably little, if not a real sharing of political and social views and even local responsibilities. In fact, the military framework has been well renewed: French reinforcement (600 men for Barkhane and G5 Sahel) after the Pau Summit (LV 134), the symbolic and negotiated return to Kidal of an element of the reconstituted Malian army (based on 2/3 of local paramilitaries) on 16 February, the integration into the FAMA of 500 men from the MSA for Menaka and the launch of Maliko, a vast autonomous Malian military operation to reconquer the territory whose eastern theatre covers Gao, Menaka and Kidal.

At the same time, General (ex-captain putschist) Sanogo was released without trial. It is an attempt to bring together all the Malian actors in a Malian military coalition against AW. Al Saharoui (EIGS) designated to all as the terrorist intruder to be eradicated. Then we’ll talk about everything (political, social, religious) But we’re speaking French too. To be seen, up close

JOCV

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La Vigie n° 99 (1st AUG 2018) : Mali, in-between – Russia reinvests Egypt – Lorgnette : Deadlines planet

La Vigie n° 99, a strategic letter by Jean Dufourcq et Olivier Kempf

Mali, in-between

Seen from France, Mali first poses a security question. Unfortunately, this perception prevents more complex geographical and political realities than the “fight against terrorism”, an awkward slogan that justifies our action. Because the Malian question (and beyond, regional, in the Sahara as in the Sahel which obey to different logics) is first that of the state organization. However, there are some optimistic factors that need to be strengthened so that military success “en premier” is pursued by a political and economic action “en second”.

Russia reinvests Egypt

Russia, which is prospecting for former Soviet positions, is gradually re-establishing itself along the great maritime artery that connects the North Sea with the Indian Ocean. In doing so, she finds in President Sissi’s Egypt a central partner sensitive to her leadership and her strategic, security and economic arguments. Her ability to mediate and her regional ability make her the player in the strategic reconstruction of the Levant, an interlocutor with whom France must now compose to find a place in the game.

Lorgnette : Deadlines planet

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