Avoid the second “phoney war”

When Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany, French troops pushed into Germany and then quickly returned to defensive positions after some minor tactical successes. At that time, the majority of the population wanted to move away from this new armed conflict called the “Phoney War.” This is because after a modest attack in Saar, hostility has been reduced to several skirmishes. But a series of events brought them back to another reality a few months later. It was four years of defeat and national occupation due to suffering and despair.

The war in Ukraine is happening in a completely different situation, but this wait-and-see attitude is recognizable again. The effects of the beginning of the economic war are beginning to be felt in everyday family life (rising fuel and gas prices). However, these new constraints do not raise awareness of what the global, deadly, non-lethal war situation looks like. Such threats remain very abstract. But don’t forget to prepare for the worst.

Importance of “economic warfare”

Our memory is sometimes very short. France has already experienced this kind of great crisis. From the beginning of World War I, the War Office understood the importance of measures to be taken to undermine Germany economically. The contraband trade through the neutral nations of Scandinavia allowed Germany to import raw materials and agricultural products for ammunition production to support its population.

To track the flow of these goods, the War Office has created a system to collect information from soldiers stationed at embassies and hidden civilians responsible for invading trafficking networks. bottom. This approach came to work when measures were taken to limit the flow by all possible means, including obstruction. In 1918 there was the actual system of economic warfare invented by the French Army, which was not perpetuated by the Third Republic.

Today, the escalation of retaliation against Russia decided by the Western government, and the reposting of Vladimir Putin to support the ruble, look more and more like an economic war. The French army must confront this non-lethal aspect of the war in order to stick to its global approach. General Burkhard, Chief of Defense Staff, fully understood the need to address this challenge.

French do not want to experience war

Faced with this clarity of military leaders, we cannot help but think of this sense of the “phoney war” from 1939 to 1940. Not very desirable. Refusing to consider the worst is very understandable, but it causes a certain number of problems that cannot be left unanswered.

.. The deadly and fierce war taboos we are only partially prepared for significantly reduce our maneuver margins for countries that are ready to take advantage of this potential weakness.

France’s very limited rearmament is a direct result of this “separation” of French public opinion from the notion of deadly war.

.. It is very difficult to put a national device into a combat position, even only cognitively. Public security is a concern that goes far beyond the concept of national security, which is not yet very well understood or accepted from a geopolitical and geopolitical point of view.

.. The political and military creativity of those who fight the invaders (see Ukraine’s example) does not bring about an electric shock effect in France. At best, the emotions caused by deadly war violence cast doubt on the potential of our army in terms of army and ammunition. On the other hand, such observations cause virtually no remorse (outside the boundaries of the military) about the ability to learn to engage individually and collectively in the dynamics of armed resistance.

Reinventing the collective culture to confront the warm power

Can you just wait for something unthinkable to happen, as in 1939? To be convinced of this, it is enough to refer to the results: four years of occupation, tens of thousands killed in bombing, looting of our economy, poverty of most of the population, barbaric selective movements. Until it becomes a true social control system for all kinds of “Untermensh” and resistance fighters. Since 1945, it has taken a long time for the scars to disappear. The ration ticket disappeared on December 1, 1949. The reconstruction of the country lasted 10 years.

But have you elicited useful assessments to deal with the upcoming crisis? Let’s briefly ask the following question. If China increases its support for Russia, how can the consequences of questioning its dependence on China be mitigated? Gradually crossing the Rubicon, which separates us from a lasting economic war, without falling into the deadly enthusiastic movement of the President of the Republic, “We are not a war with Russia.” It’s clear. .. It’s time to balance caution and clarity.

Overcoming the still widespread denial of risk-taking is essential to confront the balance of power. Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s aggression is a very didactic example of the operational defense of the territory. This collective efficiency deserves some lessons to be learned from it, especially in the cognitive field to guide the war of perception.

The effectiveness of the techno guerrilla technology developed by the Ukrainian army against the Russian army demonstrates the importance of new behavioral patterns developed by the local formal and irregular army. The operational defenses of the territory envisioned in France during the Cold War no longer correspond to the forms of conflict that characterize fierce warfare practices. The combination of lethal and non-lethal behavior represents a resolute new approach to the preliminary concept, more specifically to less important areas.

Christian Harbor Lot