En 2003, le Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre du ministère britannique de la défense a publié un rapport intitulé Strategic Trends, dont l'objectif était d'anticiper l'évolution générale et les changements susceptibles d'affecter la géopolitique mondiale dans les 30 prochaines années. Chaque dimension (ressources, sociale, science et technologie, économie, droit et institutions internationales, politique et militaire) était analysée en termes de tendances lourdes, mais également des ruptures possibles des « shocks » qui étaient toujours mis en relation avec ...
(1225 more words)
Ce dossier de la revue de la World Future Society contient sept articles de divers experts. Certains sont très courts, c'est pourquoi cette analyse se focalise sur quatre d'entre eux, ceux de Gregory Foster, Andrew Bacevich, James Rosenau et Edward Luttwack. Gregory Foster : " Strategy and the Search for Peace " Ce chercheur à la National Defense University américaine brosse ici les grandes lignes de la réflexion stratégique prospective de défense. Selon lui, l'incertitude est évidemment immense en ce ...
(556 more words)
Le rapport 2006 se concentre résolument sur quatre questions majeures à l’horizon 2010 et 2020 : • Celle de l’évolution du contexte géopolitique mondial marqué par la prolifération des risques et des menaces de toutes natures, par l’absence ou l’insuffisance de toutes © Futuribles 2 institutions et procédures de régulation à l’échelle mondiale, et donc par des risques de ruptures incontrôlées des grands équilibres géostratégiques vis-à-vis desquels nul n’est à l’abri, particulièrement dans une période de ...
(539 more words)
The decision of most of the heads of state of Arab nations not to attend the European/Mediterranean summit meeting in Barcelona at the end of November 2005 was a strong warning to the European Union of the difficulty it is going to have in establishing a clear policy vis-à-vis its southern neighbours and the distrust that this creates among them. Sébastien Abis, who specializes in the Mediterranean, assesses the current state of co-operation between Europe and countries bordering the Mediterranean, as well as how this might change in future.
After first describing the European-Mediterranean Partnership launched in Barcelona in 1995, he shows how slow the EU has been to honour many of the promises made then and how disillusioned the EU's partners have become as a result. In addition to the changes in the geopolitical context that have occurred in the last ten years, he stresses the inherent problems of the Mediterranean basin and the inequalities that persist there. In conclusion, Sébastien Abis proposes five possible scenarios for the future of relations between the EU and its Mediterranean neighbours, ranging from deterioration to increased co-operation, although he fears that the trend towards stagnation or deterioration will prove to be predominant, given how little drive the EU puts into genuine assistance for the countries to the south.
According to many commentators, the nuclear co-operation agreement signed by the United States and India on 2 March 2006 sounds the death knell for the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. India, which never signed the treaty, will benefit from technology transfers from the United States for its civilian nuclear programme, but it can also pursue its military programme free from any international control.
As this article stresses, this is a striking example of double standards, when one thinks of Israel or Iran (among others), and one that could furthermore destabilize the whole of Asia, given that Pakistan and China both have nuclear weapons. After recalling the sequence of events since the end of the Cold War with regard to disarmament and efforts to limit nuclear proliferation, the author shows how hypocrisy and cynicism prevail among the members of the nuclear club, and how difficult it could become to ensure stability and peace among nations, given this situation.
The text is an extract from a book entitled Les Scientifiques (The Scientists) that is almost ready for the press and that should appear before the end of the year. The author, Jean-Jacques Salomon, gives a foretaste to readers of Futuribles.
La publication de la Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) est considérée par les spécialistes des questions internationales et de sécurité et défense comme un " temps fort " de la pensée stratégique américaine. Ce document synthétique est censé encadrer líaction du Department of Defense (DoD), et en particulier sa gestion des hommes et des matériels, sa planification des programmes díarmement prioritaires et sa programmation budgétaire pour les quatre années suivantes. La publication de la QDR 2006 était très attendue pour plusieurs raisons : - il ...
(130 more words)
China is much praised for its economic performance and its rapid growth; much less mention is made of its diplomatic activities even though they are very persistent. Alain Lamballe unveils some aspects of Chinese policies in South Asia, showing how China is forging close links with its South Asian neighbours, especially India, but also Pakistan and Burma.
By building infrastructure, financing strategic bases and developing industrial linkages China is increasingly strengthening its position throughout the Asian continent for a combination of economic, political and security reasons. The Chinese strategy, aimed at offsetting the influence of the United States in the region, could in the long run help to reduce some regional tensions (Kashmir, in particular) and upset the international status quo, especially if India joins in. According to Alain Lamballe, the 21st century could then indeed be the century of Asia.
The Chechen war has now been going on for more than ten years and more often than not gives rise to oversimplications. The Kremlin announced the end of the war and the start of a phase of "normalisation"; the Western powers prefer to ignore a conflict that is all the more embarrassing for them because the Russian government presents its actions as maintaining order and thus helping to combat terrorism. On the ground, those demanding independence from Russia have no democratic representation and the most resolute dissidents are linked to Islamic fundamentalist groups. For their part, the non-governmental organizations criticize the rigging of the elections and Russian exactions, but what they say is stifled in Russia by official propaganda and the strength of nationalist sentiment, and at international level by the desire not to upset the Russian government. Most of those involved are therefore ready to believe in the "return to normality" in Chechnya.
In this article Laurent Vinatier analyses the forms this "normalisation" takes, above all in the light of the last parliamentary elections in November 2005. He argues that the "normality" is just a façade and "hides the reality of violent antagonism between two rival powers, each one based on an undeniable legitimacy, though a declining one". Chechnya today is stuck in a political impasse and the scenarios presented by Laurent Vinatier for resolving the conflict or in which it deteriorates all require intervention by external forces.
With the end of the Cold War, many hoped that there would gradually be less cause to resort to war; 15 years later, this has clearly not happened. Violence persists in various forms: civil wars, ethnic cleansing, genocide, terrorism, etc. What should the response be, especially on the part of a democratic country? Can violence be used against violence and, if so, according to what "rules"? Are there circumstances when intervention is more permissible than others?
These are some of the issues discussed here by Jean-Jacques Salomon, in reviewing a multi-author study edited by Pierre Hassner and Gilles Andréani (Justifier la guerre? De l'humanitaire au contre-terrorisme [Justifiable War? From Humanitarian Aid to Counter-terrorism]. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2005), as well as several other books about ethical questions in international relations. In this debate, the sharp contrast between the European and American attitudes obviously take centre-stage, along with the problem of the United States' readiness to act unilaterally, combined with its refusal to submit to international law with regard to waging war and respecting prisoners' rights.
Is the era of a lone superpower dominating international relations coming to an end? The rapid economic growth now occurring in Asia has not yet led to a reshaping of the global geopolitical landscape. Nevertheless Rémi Perelman analyses here a "bundle of facts" that suggest that the American military presence could in time find itself ousted from the countries of East Asia. Thus the Shanghai Cooperation Organization seems to be acquiring a new momentum and is becoming a truly regional organization, with the removal of American armed forces as one of its stated aims. But, according to Perelman, the main challenge to American leadership is likely to come from the bilateral agreements being forged by certain Asian nations, above all Russia and China.
While no Asian country currently seems ready to oppose American power head-on, that power is nevertheless clearly being challenged by the economic, political and geo-strategic alliances that are being developed or planned by such influential nations as China, Russia, India, Pakistan and Iran. It remains to be seen whether the countries of Asia can go beyond these short-term agreements and nurture a joint ambition based on shared interests that might result in the creation of an Asian power bloc as a potential counterweight to the superpower status of the United States. The analysis of the specifics of these flexible alliances forged by the nations of Asia, especially during summer 2005, leads Rémi Perelman to reflect on how they might ultimately be structured within a coherent bloc.
Inventeur du concept d’« hyperterrorisme » pour expliquer la nouvelle guerre de l’après-11 septembre, François Heisbourg s’interroge dans son dernier ouvrage sur le déclin de l’Occident en tant qu’entité stratégique. Devant l’auditoire, il a, dans un premier temps, brossé les tendances lourdes et les caractéristiques de l’après-guerre froide.
Since the end of 2004, when elections brought a party explicitly in favour of independence from China into the governing coalition in Taiwan, the relations between China and Taiwan have regularly been in the news. The commentators are anxious about the growing tension between the two governments and the risks of open conflict.
In this article Rémi Perelman recalls the background and the key phases in the relationship between China and Taiwan. He sets out who the protagonists are and what position each takes, from maintaining the status quo via the threat of invading the island to declaring Taiwan's independence. He also makes clear what support the Taiwanese government might expect, including from abroad - in particular, would the United States really risk conflict with China if matters deteriorate? Finally, Rémi Perelman offers several scenarios for possible developments between 2006 and 2020, stressing nonetheless how little it would be in China's interest, from the point of view of its economic growth, to enter into a period of political upheaval.
Not only does China cover a vast area (more than 9.5 million km2), the country has rarely exhibited any expansionist impulses. However, this might change, as Rémi Perelman argues here, because of its growing need for raw materials, and in particular energy, for which it depends heavily on foreign suppliers.
In order to strengthen its supply lines, China is establishing footholds abroad, especially in Burma and Pakistan. This diplomatic strategy, which Pentagon experts call the "string of pearls", indicates the clearsightedness of the Chinese and their readiness to do all they can to safeguard the basis of the country's economic growth. This new attitude is worrying for the United States, which is doing much the same thing in the region, for similar reasons.
Frequently described as a "geopolitical dwarf", Europe is still trying to define its role on the international stage. The European Union has huge assets as an actor in international affairs (the diplomatic services of the member countries, its important role in development aid, its mastery of multilateral issues, etc.) but also some weaknesses that have often proved fatal (a lack of means on the ground as well as of political will at the top, disagreements among member states, a tendency to react too slowly...).
The major trauma of the experience in the Balkans in the 1990s, from Sarajevo to Pristina, made everyone aware that Europe could not be content just with talking about international affairs. On the other hand, Europeans are uncomfortable with the concept of power, to the point where some argue that Europe could never be a "civilian power" on the world stage. What can be done to preserve the special nature of the European view of international relations, based on something other than sheer brute strength (which made the neoconservative Robert Kagan write that America is from Mars and Europe is from Venus...(Paradise and Power: America versus Europe in the 21st Century, 2003), while making Europe credible as a force to be reckoned with in a turbulent world?
One of the avenues that needs to be explored undoubtedly lies in a redefinition of the notions of security and defence, which are still shaped too much by concepts of territory and inter-state relations left over from the Cold War. The idea of global security, or human security, is a key element in establishing the base that the European Union needs if it is ever to have the means to achieve its ambitions. Geneviève Schméder outlines the contribution made in this regard in a report for Javier Solana, the EU's defence chief, by a group of independent experts (A Human Security Doctrine for Europe. Report of the Study Group on Europe's Security Capabilities, presented to the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, Barcelona, 15 September 2004).
Rémi Perelman discusses Alain Minc's latest book, Ce monde qui vient (The World that's Coming, Paris: Grasset, 2004), which attempts to foresee the changes about to occur in the world. Indeed, since the collapse of communism, the world has been constantly changing. The rise of Asia, the United States as lone superpower, terrorism, the expansion of the European Union - it is hard to see whether stability is possible and what form it might take, or where France might fit in the new world order. Alain Minc gives his opinion on these topics, along with a strong piece of advice to the French: to wake up and at last appreciate how they must adapt to the transformations taking place.
Prospective et défense sont depuis longtemps intimement liées : la première trouve naturellement dans la seconde un terreau fertile à son développement, notamment dans sa capacité à offrir un cadre à la planification militaire dans un environnement forcément complexe et imprévisible. Certaines des approches méthodologiques modernes de la prospective ont d'ailleurs pour origine des réflexions d'ordre militaire (aux États-Unis, par exemple, dès les années 1950, au sein du projet RAND). Au-delà des relations entre prospective et défense, l'auteur ...
(482 more words)