Strategic Briefs

The Strategic Brief offer an analysis of current topical strategic issues in a two-page format...

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 The other Strategic Briefs are only available in French here.

  • Strategic Brief no. 68 - 2024
    "Will Russia denounce the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS)?"
    Author: Lukas B. Wahden

    Russia has threatened to denounce the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas. However, it is unlikely that Moscow will make good on its threat. Russia’s hostility towards UNCLOS does not derive from maritime strategy, but from its pursuit of great power prerogatives. Nevertheless, Russia’s actions undermine UNCLOS.

  • Strategic Brief no. 65 - 2023
    "US Withdrawal and European Strategic Autonomy"
    Author: Kyle Haynes

    With Russia’s military being decimated in Ukraine and East Asia becoming the United States’ most important regional commitment, the US is likely to shift significant military resources away from Europe. This will create unprecedented opportunities for European strategic autonomy in the coming years.

  • Strategic Brief no. 64 - 2023 (Translation)
    "Russia's nuclear blackmail: Mere strategic intimidation?"
    Auteur : Céline Marangé

    At the start of the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Russian authorities regularly voiced threats of nuclear escalation. These threats had initially subsided, before vehemently resurfacing in June 2023. While they are used as a dissuasive tool against Western countries, they also reflect an evolution in Russia’s nuclear posture.

  • Strategic Brief no. 63 - 2023 
    "Strengthening military cooperation between Singapore and China : What is at stake for the city-state?"
    Author : Carine Pina

    In recent years, China and Singapore have been developing their military cooperation. China is conducting a very active defence diplomacy in Singapore, in response to that led by the United States in the region. For the city-state, it is a question of maintaining balanced relations with both powers, a position that seems to be slightly more delicate at present.

  • Strategic Brief no. 62 - 2023 
    " Information Warfare in the Age of Artificial Intelligence"
    Author: Dusan Bozalka
    Artificial intelligence (AI) not only enhances the offensive capabilities of malicious actors in the digital realm but also further weakens the defensive capacities of our societies against information manipulation. Based on discussions held at the annual conference of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia, as well as on current events, this strategic brief aims to summarize the dangers presented by tools utilizing this technology.
  • Strategic Brief no. 61 - 2023 
    "Another Election, Another Cabinet: Will Kuwait Correct Its Course?"
    Author: Clemens Chay
    The perennial question on Kuwaiti politics is one of domestic stability. Specifically, resolving the cabinet-parliament deadlock is high on the agenda. The 6 June 2023 legislative elections continue from a vicious cycle of dissolution and renewal. It will take a tough cabinet and bold moves to force a breakthrough.
  • Strategic Brief no. 59 - 2023 
    "Will Russia station nuclear weapons in Belarus?"
    Author: Tiphaine de Champchesnel
    On March 25, Vladimir Putin stated that Russia intended to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, specifying that a special repository would be completed by July 1. For the time being, the issue of the transfer of nuclear warheads has not been raised publicly. Even if it also serves other objectives, this announcement seems to be part of Russia's strategy of intimidation in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.
  • Strategic Brief no. 57 - 2023 
    "The transformation of intelligence services in light of the war in Ukraine"
    Author: Yvan Lledo-Ferrer
    After two decades marked by the “war” on terror, the war in Ukraine constituted a brutal reawakening of power struggles and conventional warfare on European soil. While the “war” on terror created a lasting impact on the framework and methods of intelligence services, we are already seeing certain changes starting to emerge in response to the war in Ukraine. This allows us to anticipate the profound transformations that these services are set to undergo.
  • Strategic Brief no. 55 - 2022 
    "Japan’s increasingly active self-defense strategy: what are the implications for France?"
    Author: Guibourg Delamotte et CV François Duhomez
    At the end of 2022, Japan adopted a new defense strategy that expands upon changes set in motion in 2012-2013. Beyond maintaining defense principles, it marks Japan’s adaptation to a strategic context that is perceived as threatening. This brief explains the role that France could play, despite Japan’s partnership strategy favoring English-speaking countries.
  • Strategic Brief no. 50 - 2022 
    "South Korea and the Indopacific: A strategic coming of age?"
    Author: Marjorie Vanbaelinghem
    While at first sight, South Korea’s Indopacific strategy may signal more alignment on the US, it is designed to make the country a pivotal power. Political will allowing, the “elasticity” of the Indopacific concept will enable South Korea to upgrade its survival diplomacy to a more assertive, comprehensive strategic approach, beyond the tête-à-tête with China or with the US over North Korea.
  • Strategic Brief no. 49 - 2022 
    "Intimidation of the elites and population control in Russia"
    Author: Victor Violier
    In the context of the war in Ukraine, the Russian power elite is tightening around the "force structures" that favor a repressive vision of relations with society. The most liberal fringe of the elite co-opted by the authorities has been marginalized through a strategy of intimidation, while the population endures a state of war by any other name.


  • Strategic Brief no. 48 - 2022 (Translation)
    "How Does the Party Present its (Rather Bad) Economic Results and What it Intends to Do About it ?"
    Author: Camille Brugier et Omowumi Alao
    Although China is experiencing a major economic slowdown, the Communist Party’s main newspaper, the People’s Daily (人民日报), has little to say about it. It endorses Zhongnanhai’s zero-Covid policy and focuses on investment in infrastructure as a key growth driver, putting an end to speculation on the prospect of a major economic reform in the country.


  • Strategic Brief no. 47 - 2022 (Translation)
    "Saudi Arabia's the UAE's OPEC + oil policy emphasizes diverging interests with Western powers"
    Author: Fatiha Dazi-Héni
    The decision by the major Gulf oil-producing states to cut production in the context of OPEC+ has roused the ire of their strategic partners in the West. The United States in particular views the move as an alignment with Russia’s policy in Ukraine, while Riyadh and Abu Dhabi claim to be defending their economic interests and choosing a diplomatic balance between West and East.


  • Strategic Brief no. 46 - 2022 (Translation)
    "The (new) race to the Moon Initially symbolic, lunar conquest has acquired a strategic, territorial dimension"
    Author: CNE Béatrice Hainaut
    The United States planted its flag on the Moon on 21st July 1969, the culmination of a contest between two superpowers that left its mark on the 20th century. Few people at the time interpreted this gesture as an act of appropriation of our natural satellite by a State, which was in any case prohibited by the Outer Space Treaty (1967). The conquest of the Moon was more symbolic than strategic or economic.

  • Strategic Brief no. 44 - 2022 
    "What made the Ukrainian resistance possible"
    Author: Yevgen Kurmashov
    Ukraine has just celebrated its Independence Day, which this year is not only the 31st anniversary of Ukrainian Independence, but also a landmark in the war against Russia: half a year since the Russian army started a so-called “special operation”, Ukraine is still resisting, fighting and living, and this miracle is completely man-made. The war is costing thousands of civilian and soldier lives, yet the resistance is continuing thanks to the millions who are involved in it.


  • Strategic Brief no. 40 - 2022 (Translation)
    "Sudan foreign policy after the coup:  military-led, security-focused, and aligning with Russia? "
    Author: Anne-Laure Mahé

    Sudan’s recent foreign policy moves demonstrate an increasing alignment with Russia and a pull away from the US and European partnerships that the transitional authorities had developed since 2019. This is one of the consequences of the October 2021 coup: having ousted its civilian partners from power, the military faction has pursued a security-focused foreign policy that aims to further entrench its power.


  • Strategic Brief no. 39 - 2022 (Translation)
    "« Co-belligerency » or when does a State become a party to an armed conflict?"
    Author: Julia Grignon

    Although the concept of “co-belligerency” is not enshrined in the Law of Armed Conflict, it raises the question of the moment in time, or the threshold, at which the support given by one or several State(s) to another in its fight against a common enemy makes them party to that armed conflict. In the case of the war in Ukraine, the support given by a large number of States to Kyiv, particularly through arms transfers, does not make these states “co-belligerents”.


  • Strategic Brief no. 38 - 2022 (Translation)
    "China’s Drone Mania"
    Author : Loro Horta
    In recent years China has made significant progress in the development and fielding of military drones. In late September 2021 China hosted the Zhuhai air show after an interruption of 3 years due to the COVID pandemic. Chinese state media gave extensive coverage to the country’s drone industry.


  • Strategic Brief no. 36 - 2022 (Translation)
    "Interpreting the Emirati and Saudi Refusal to Side with the “West” on The War in Ukraine"
    Author:  Fatiha Dazi-Héni
    The non-alignment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia with the “West” led by the United States to sanction Russia in the war against Ukraine represents an act of defiance against the American ally and its President. In the wake of the surging energy prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are seizing the reconfiguration of the international order to defy Washington by openly displaying their desire to diversify strategic partnerships.


  • Strategic Brief no. 35 - 2022 (Translation)
    "War in Ukraine and the rules governing the conduct of hostilities under the Law of Armed Conflict"
    Author: Julia Grignon

    Whereas civilian objects shall never be the object of attack, there is no conflict that does not cause damage to them nor loss of civilian life. What constitutes a target under the Law of Armed Conflict? And how does the law deal with incidental damages? This brief answers these questions through the prism of current events in Ukraine.


  • Strategic Brief no. 33 - 2022 (Translation)
    " War in Ukraine: Strategic Dilemmas in the Indo-Pacific"
    Author : Marianne Péron-Doise
    In the Indo-Pacific, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has rekindled fears of China’s possible use of force. Reactions in the region reflect this concern, with the need to maintain stable relations with Russia. For the United States and its Asian allies, it is an opportunity to contemplate the pertinence of their historical bilateral alliances. Are they sufficiently dissuasive to contain China’s multidimensional expansion? Will they be effective in the event of a crisis?


  • Strategic Brief no. 29 - 2022 (Translation)
    "Open Crisis Scenario in the Taiwan Strait:  What Strategic Implications for Europe?"
    Author : Nicolas Regaud
    While the scenario of a Chinese violent intervention against Taiwan is now deemed credible in the short to medium term, Europeans are slow to grasp the magnitude of its consequences on their own strategic interests. Unless they jeopardize transatlantic relations, they should then show solidarity on the political but also military level. Awareness of the challenges and European assets would likely help deter China from crossing the Rubicon.


  • Strategic Brief no. 28 - 2022 (Translation)
    "Strengthening Regional Cooperation on Environmental and Climate Security  in the Southwest Indian Ocean - Avenues to Explore"
    Author : Nicolas Regaud
    The French presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) offers the opportunity to initiate projects aimed at better connecting the IOC to its Indo-Pacific environment and to strengthen sub-regional cooperation, particulary in the field of environmental and climate security. To this end, we propose to explore four avenues.


  • Strategic Brief No.20 (Translation)
    "Japan's ambition for an economic security strategy: a way forward"
    Author: Nicolas Regaud
    A Japanese Liberal Democratic Party study committee issued a report in December 2020 calling for the implementation of a national economic security strategy aimed at preserving the country’s strategic autonomy. We could usefully draw inspiration from it and draw up a White Paper on economic security, both at national and European level, and initiate exchanges and cooperation with our Indo-Pacific partners in particular.


  • Strategic Brief No.18 (Translation)
    "“Yes to Iron Man, No to Spiderman!” A New Framework for the Enhanced Soldier brought by the Report from the Defense Ethics Committee in France"
    Author: Pierre Bourgois
    In December 2020, the Ministry for the Armed Forces made public the first report of the Defense Ethics Committee on the enhanced soldier. This constitutes a fundamental step in understanding the issues of the soldier enhancement phenomenon as well as for its very evolution, and makes France an avant-garde power on these questions.


  • Strategic Brief No.17 (Translation)
    "Rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait: what are the stakes for Europe?"
    Author: Nicolas Regaud
    From a military perspective, China has increased its pressure on Taiwan, to the point that the hypothesis of a large-scale open crisis cannot be ruled out, possibly in the short term. If this were to happen, it would have global consequences and it is unlikely thatEuropeans remain distant bystanders. This scenario is key to the European Indo-Pacific strategy and is of great importance for transatlantic relations.


  • Strategic Brief No.15 (Translation)
    "China’s policy of economic coercion against Australia: what can Europeans learn from it?"
    Author: Nicolas Regaud
    Australia has been the target of numerous measures of economic coercion implemented by China since the Spring of 2020. Europeans are not immune to the political instrumentalization of the Chinese economic and technological power and should engage in the development of an economic security strategy.


  • Strategic Brief No.11 (Translation)
    "From the Pacific Fusion Center to the Security Information Fusion Center in the Indian Ocean?"
    Author: Nicolas Regaud
    The plan to create the Pacific Fusion Center, a security information fusion body in the broad sense, in the area covered by the Pacific Islands Forum (FIP) could very well be transposed to the Southwest Indian Ocean. Backed by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), it would cover global security issues, not just maritime security, with the support of our Indian and Australian strategic partners.
  • Strategic Brief No. 9 - 2020 (Translation)
    EU and "maritime multilateralism” in the Indo-Pacific: navigating in Asia’s waters
    Author:  Marianne Péron-Doise

    Using a maritime metaphor evoking the EU “in rougher seas”, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, defends the vision of a European Union affirming its identity and values in a climate of heightened strategic competition between the United States and China. This maritime dimension is worth exploring. It is at the heart of a strengthening of the EU’s relations with Asia.


  • Strategic Brief No. 7 - 2020 (Translation)
    "A Skeptical Intervener: Germany in the Sahel"
    Author: Denis M. Tull

    Germany has decided to continue its military participation in two international missions deployed in the Sahel: the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the EU Military Training Mission EUTM Mali, permitting the deployment of up to 1,550 soldiers. Yet, views in Berlin on the situation in the Sahel and the outlook of military involvement there are increasingly skeptical.


  • Strategic Brief No. 4 (Translation)
    "The challenges of the 10th NPT Review Conference"
    Author: Tiphaine De Champchesnel
    The tenth Review Conference (REVCON) of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), that was to be held from 27 April to 22 May 2020, has been postponed to a later date, unknown at this stage. This strategic brief focuses on the key issues of this meeting, which marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Treaty.


  • Strategic Brief No. 2 - 2020 (Translation)
    "The Quest for European Medical Autonomy: The Moment of Truth for the 'Geopolitical Commission' "
    Author: Pierre Haroche

    The current Corona crisis has set the ideal stage for external powers such as China and Russia to extend their influence in Europe by playing on the EU’s dependence and division. The European Commission, which is increasingly asserting the geopolitical dimension of its policies, should lead the strategic debate on European medical autonomy and solidarity in the face of this crisis.


  • Strategic Brief No. 1 (Translation)
    "Covid-19 – flow control, anticipation and prevention"
    Author: Nicolas Regaud
    While Europe is in the eye of the storm, unable to predict when it will emerge, and as the health crisis reaches truly global proportions, it would be presumptuous, in the midst of turmoil, to learn some strategic lessons from the pandemic. Sketching a historical perspective and making some hypotheses and recommendations is a possibility, at most.