March 2012 - n° 748
In giving his broad strategic overview at the beginning of this year of strategic transition, the author, an expert on these matters, concentrates on nuclear forces and defence expenditure, and calls for public debate on our deterrence posture and our overseas commitments.
Any analysis of the dangers and new challenges to security must consider a combination of legal and judicial aspects, to which actions of the armed forces are closely linked, whilst conducting their highly specialised missions. Neither technical issues nor financial tension are likely to call into question the nuclear guarantee. Presidential debate will be fuelled by the recent emergence of a geopolitical framework whose major outline is clearly identifiable.
Realism and pertinence in defence matters depends on a capability for adaptation to military, budgetary, technical and social circumstances. The author provides a sharp analysis of this capability, using nuclear armament and the combat aircraft fleet to illustrate his argument.
The path taken by the French nuclear weapon programme shows unceasing pragmatism combined with a will to maintain the deterrence capability of the arsenal and the position it accords the country in the world’s strategic structure. The abolition recommended by the US President would leave military matters open to conventional superpowers.
Dismantling of the entire system of nuclear power—both as weapon and generator of electricity—is underway in a climate of abolition and serious technical accidents. How can we replace it by systems that offer the same effectiveness as nuclear power continues to do today? The author believes the status quo should remain just that.
Starting from a new multi-polar approach intended to benefit everyone, the Brazilian Minister of Defence gives us an exposé of the reality of South American and South Atlantic regional security. In addition, he underlines the role that Brazil is taking in an era of decentralisation of international powers, with use of force being considered only in the most extreme of cases.
The author, who is an expert on this issue, proposes that to face up to the uncertainty provoked by unavoidable nuclear proliferation, only a combination of nuclear weapons and an ABM shield will give the range of strategies needed to prevent war. For Europe, there is an urgent need to have its own ABM shield.
In this essay, the author exposes the Central Asian trap which risks snaring NATO forces by virtue of their dependence on logistic supply. A generalised ‘Afghanisation’ of Central Asia is developing along two lines—drugs and terrorism—which are mutually supporting. Hope of stabilisation of the area seems well and truly compromised.