Climate change, the subject of our main article this month, lies very much in our ambit. Hotly debated by politicians, analysts and scientists alike on the detail, it is nevertheless a reality that could play a major role in future tensions between communities in the world. Former Prime Minister Michel Rocard, who since last March has been France’s ambassador covering Arctic and Antarctic matters on the international stage, gives his take on the problem. His message is be aware and beware.
Not unconnected, the second theme covered in this month’s selection from Revue Défense Nationale is resilience—broadly, the ability to face a man-made or natural catastrophe and return to normality or something like it. Loup Francart looks at the American and British concepts before considering how this theme, mentioned in the White Paper on security and national defence of 2008, could be viewed and applied in France through preparation and training. Lamenting a diminished sense of national cohesion, central to resilience, following the end of national service, Stéphane Dossé argues for the creation of an obligatory, universal civic service within a National Guard.
Afghanistan will, unhappily, be a recurring topic. This month Henri Paris suggests that the counter-insurgency strategy now applied there is doomed to failure because it has come too late. Sharing the view that the Americans and NATO have already lost the war, René Cagnat, who has lived in Central Asia ten years and has intimate knowledge of the region, sets out the case for a redeployment of NATO there.
As a footnote, researchers of French strategy will be interested to learn that as from this month RDN’s archives will be available online.