The bookworm, the martyr, and Xi’s longtime friend

War adapts itself and evolves. While some may take comfort in the fact that conventional battles are most likely a phenomenon of the past, the wisdom that guided those who won them is crucial to inform us about how to efficiently carry the fight from now on.

I recently reviewed the insightful novel 2034 by Admiral James Stavridis about a potential future war between China and the United States, during which China’s People’s Liberation Army takes advantage of technology to defeat the US Navy. Anyone watching the news can grasp that the rivalry between Beijing and Washington could lead to a hot war in the future, even if the author of the novel – a man who forgot more about polemology than any of us will ever learn – evaluates that the risks are feeble, the need to be prepared is nevertheless crucial.

Continue reading “The bookworm, the martyr, and Xi’s longtime friend”

“Overall, 2021 has been a difficult year for the Biden team” – Admiral James Stavridis

Admiral James Stavridis USN (Ret.) (source: US Naval Institute)

Before the Holidays, Admiral James Stavridis USN (Ret.), one of my favorite authors, granted me an end of year interview about issues related to his amazing novel 2034 about a war between China and the United States. These geopolitical issues are unlikely to disappear from the radar in the coming months and years. The Admiral’s insights are therefore not only very informative, but also crucial to grasp the state of the world.

Admiral Stavridis, I’ve read and reviewed 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (Penguin Random House) with tremendous interest. Before we head into more serious stuff, a question burns my tongue. Since there are lots of mention of the delicious M&Ms throughout the novel, I was wondering if you are a fan of that candy yourself and if that’s the reason why it is mentioned in the book?

While I am not personally a fan of M&M candies, I have known many sea-going naval officers who are. I liked the idea of Lin Bao [one of the main characters of 2034] enjoying an American candy, essentially a nod to the duality of his upbringing.

Continue reading ““Overall, 2021 has been a difficult year for the Biden team” – Admiral James Stavridis”

« Vladimir Poutine n’est pas un ennemi mortel pour l’Occident » – Entrevue exclusive avec Antoine Mariotti

Antoine Mariotti (source: France 24)

À la suite de ma recension de son livre La Honte de l’Occident – un exposé qui fait réfléchir, de par les nombreuses révélations qu’il contient et qui permettant de mieux comprendre l’état actuel de la politique internationale le journaliste de France 24 Antoine Mariotti a aimablement accepté de répondre à quelques questions pour ce blogue. C’est un livre qui se dévore avec une bonne tasse de thé, sous la plume d’un auteur de talent dont on souhaite qu’il nous offre d’autres plaisirs littéraires. Voici donc le contenu de notre échange.

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Monsieur Mariotti, l’un des aspects qui m’a le plus marqué dans La Honte de l’Occident est à l’effet que Moscou et Téhéran pourraient devenir des rivaux à moyen et long terme. Pourriez-vous nous en dire davantage à propos des sujets et intérêts sur les récifs desquels cette relation pourrait se détériorer?

Ce sont les deux parrains du pouvoir syrien. Ils ont endossé ce rôle parce qu’ils estiment qu’ils ont aussi à y gagner. Il va être intéressant de voir le partage des marchés économiques… certains auraient été promis aux deux. Par ailleurs, sur un sujet comme Israël (voisin de la Syrie), les positions russe et iraniennes sont radicalement opposées. Moscou est allié au pouvoir israélien alors que Téhéran est son ennemi juré. Tsahal intervient militairement régulièrement en Syrie contre des intérêts iraniens et avec le feu vert, actif ou passif, de la Russie qui gère une grande partie de l’espace aérien syrien.

Poursuivre la lecture

RT’s article about ISIS

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ISIS-occupied territory in the Middle East source: http://snipurl.com/29uu75t

I don’t know about you, but I like to read news reports and analysis from RT (Russia Today). I like their unconventional way of doing things. Their journalists sometimes irk me, but, overall, this is a very interesting News Agency. They may have an agenda, but which news media doesn’t?

All of this to say that RT reported today the revelations contained in an article from Der Spiegel with some interesting revelations supporting the fact that ISIS is an offspring of the miscalculations and mistakes of the US intervention in Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

According to RT’s article:

“The reason why ISIS are so successful as a terrorist organization is partly because many of their founding members, including the top strategist, were part of Saddam Hussein’s professional security apparatus. By shattering the well-trained army of Saddam, the US apparently created a group of very intelligent enemies.

Bakr [ISIS mastermind Haji Bakr, whose real name was Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi] was a “highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician,” as an Iraqi journalist described the former officer. But when the US suddenly dissolved the Iraqi army after the 2003 invasion he became “bitter and unemployed.””

Here is a powerful reminder to Western leaders and military planners that one needs to be very careful when approaching the Middle East. It’s also a reminder that we should stick even closer to our friends – lsrael being at the top of that list, but there are others like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for example – who are our best allies to confront these threats.

They might not be perfect, but they are reliable, unlike Iran. In a context like this, a staunch friend is 100 times better than a would-be, potential, circumstantial ally.

Netanyahu is right

Despite the very hostile tone of his interviewer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives here an excellent summary of why the preliminary Iran nuclear deal is bad, not only for Israel but also for peace in the Middle East. Need we be reminded that the Tehran régime is now playing in the backyard of Saudi Arabia, in Yemen? You might not like Netanyahu, but you have got to give credit to the fact that his rationale is not fluffy nor superficial. It is grounded on hard facts. And contrary to many Western deciders, he does not live in the Alice in Wonderland of wishful thinking. He his the Prime Minister of a country that deals with threats sponsored by Iran on a daily basis.