The main article selected from the French edition of this month’s Revue Défense Nationale, by leading academic Pierre Hassner, paints a sombre picture of the uncertainty of the international order today and the difficulties facing national and European strategic policy-makers, especially given what the author refers to as the revolution in mentalities, attitudes and emotions. In Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann’s view, a geopolitical strategy that could transform its assets into power is needed if Europe is to count in the world. To avoid ‘reciprocal neutralization’, some new impetus is needed; he suggests a ‘Central European Alliance’, including at least France and Germany, with the courage to address sensitive issues like power, territory and frontiers. In his article, Yves Joly argues that, as a central element of collective security, conventional arms control is more relevant that ever for European security, but needs to be adapted to today’s realities. The Force Employment Concept, on which Cyril Bourdeau de Fontenay comments, stems from France’s redefined security strategy. It describes the military contribution, calling for an ability to act anywhere, anytime, across the entire spectrum of operations.
Visitors to our website who have some French and are also Russia watchers may be interested to see in the list of abstracts that the French edition of RDN this month includes four articles concerning Europe’s big neighbour to the east—on Russia’s proposal for a pan-European security treaty, its virtually unchanged military doctrine, the need for dialogue and the strategic importance of the Caspian.
We apologise unreservedly for the delay in putting details of last month’s issue on our website. Unhappily, this has been because of the illness of our webmaster, whom we wish a quick recovery.