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France Stresses Support for Saudi Initiative on Yemen, Condemns Houthi Attacks | Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi Foreign Minister during his meeting with his French counterpart in Paris on Wednesday.

France has stressed its support for the Saudi peace initiative in Yemen, and condemned Houthi militia attacks on Saudi territories, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry following a meeting between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, in Paris.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat


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Franco-Russo Competition In The Central African Republic Doesn’t Have To Be Zero-Sum

Franco-Russo Competition In The Central African Republic Doesn’t Have To Be Zero-Sum

23 JUNE 2021

Franco-Russo Competition In The Central African Republic Doesn

France seems to regard its competition with Russia in the Central African Republic as a zero-sum game, but it doesn’t have to be like that since both Great Powers can contribute in their own way to that country’s development.

The French Foreign Minister dramatically claimed last week that “In the Central African Republic, there is a form of a seizure of power, and in particular of military power, by Russian mercenaries.” This came shortly after Paris suspended military and budgetary support to Bangui in response to accusations that the Central African Republic’s (CAR) government was complicit in an information warfare campaign against France that allegedly also involves Russia. That decision was preceded by French President Macron provocatively describing his CAR counterpart as a so-called “hostage” of Russian private military contractors (PMCs). These developments strongly suggest that France views its competition with Russia there as a zero-sum game, but it doesn’t have to be like that since both Great Powers can contribute in their own way to that country’s development.

For those readers who haven’t closely followed events in the CAR over the past few years, Russia has recently emerged as a major force there after providing military assistance to Bangui in full compliance with relevant UNSC Resolutions on the matter. I hyperlinked to 18 of my prior pieces over the years about this dimension of Moscow’s geostrategic “balancing” act in my article two months ago asking “Is Khodorkovsky Behind The Claims Of Russian Death Squads In The Central African Republic?” The one from June 2019 about how “Russia’s ‘Pivot To Africa’ Encroaches On France’s Traditional ‘Sphere Of Influence’” is the most topical to this particular analysis. It described how Russia’s “military diplomacy” through arms sales and PMC deployments in the name of “Democratic Security” (counter-Hybrid War tactics and strategies) is increasing its appeal throughout Africa.

This model was first practiced in the CAR where it’s currently being perfected. France practically abandoned its resource-rich but chronically impoverished former colony due to its seemingly intractable civil war, which created the opportunity for Russia to come to its assistance a couple of years ago and surprisingly make progress on stabilizing parts of the country. France fears the growing attractiveness of Russia’s “Democratic Security” model in its African “sphere of influence” since Moscow has proven that it’s more than capable of replacing some of the security assistance that Paris used to provide to its partners. The crucial difference between the two, however, is that Russia doesn’t make political demands of those countries. Nevertheless, there do seem to be some quid pro quos involved such as obtaining preferential access to certain resources.

Even so, Russia’s “Democratic Security” model is very flexible and tailored to meet the needs of its many partners across the continent. Moscow also has an interest in comprehensively strengthening ties with those countries too beyond the military and resource spheres in order to cultivate reliable allies. This is evidenced by its investments in the CAR’s social sphere and the emphasis on improving people-to-people ties. Russia knows that it can’t rely on inter-elite relationships indefinitely if it seriously aspires to become a meaningful geopolitical “balancing” force in Africa, hence its focus on improving the lives of its partners’ people for soft power’s sake. France has mostly neglected to do this since it took its partners for granted by doing for decades exactly what it dishonestly accuses Russia of nowadays, which is simply relying on elite patronage networks.

This explains why France is so furious with Russia’s strategic inroads in the CAR. The Eurasian Great Power is handling its African outreaches a lot better than the Western European one which has a centuries-long “sphere of influence” there stretching back to the colonial era. France will have to step its game up if it doesn’t want to lose more hearts and minds to Russia’s much more pragmatic approach across this strategic space. Alas, instead of learning these long-overdue lessons, France decided to punish the CAR by suspending military and budgetary assistance, which is speculated to have prompted a change in government there after the Prime Minister was replaced with someone who media reports claim is more acceptable to Paris. This observation can be seen as a pragmatic move on Bangui’s part since it doesn’t consider Franco-Russo competition to be a zero-sum game.

Ideally, France and Russia would contribute in their own way to developing and stabilizing their shared partner. For instance, France is still an impressive economic force to be reckoned with there, while Russia is the country’s newest and most reliable security provider. The legacy of French influence won’t be erased anytime soon so it’s fitting for the two countries to repair their relations, though not at the expense of Russian-CAR relations like some in Paris might hope. Russia doesn’t impose any ultimatums on its partners nor does it ever pressure them to reduce their ties with others so France should hopefully learn from this pragmatic policy if it truly aspires to retain and even expand its influence there. Punishing the CAR is counterproductive and confirms that Paris is behaving in a very condescending manner which implies a hierarchy between the two.

France will inevitably have to incorporate Russia into its newfound “Lead From Behind” stratagem across its “sphere of influence” that I wrote about last week when describing the evolution of its Operation Barkhane in the Sahel. The Western European Great Power’s prior model of hegemonic dominance over its partners is coming to an end as the world transitions to multipolarity. The ongoing New Cold War between the US and China is compelling the Global South countries in which they compete to actively search for third-party “balancing” forces like Russia. Their traditional partners, in this case France, don’t sufficiently meet their increasingly independent strategic needs. France still has a chance to retain its “sphere of influence”, but it must lean to “share” it with others like Russia otherwise it’ll lose its influence a lot faster than if it doesn’t.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Russia, France, Central African Republic, Democratic Security, Balancing, Lead From Behind, New Cold War.


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Operation Barkhane Will Embrace The Lead From Behind Stratagem

Operation Barkhane Will Embrace The Lead From Behind Stratagem

18 JUNE 2021

Operation Barkhane Will Embrace The Lead From Behind Stratagem

French President Macron’s recent announcement that he’ll be ending his country’s Operation Barkhane in West Africa’s Sahel region came with the caveat that France isn’t fully withdrawing from its anti-terrorist mission there, but is simply transforming the nature of its military presence in a manner that will be clarified later this month but will likely incorporate the “Lead From Behind” stratagem of delegating relevant responsibilities to partnered states with which it shares the same security interests.

The impending conclusion of France’s years-long Operation Barkhane in West Africa’s Sahel region might sound like a big deal to unaware observers but probably won’t change much at the end of the day. President Macron recently announced that his country’s anti-terrorist mission there will soon take on a new form, but he told everyone to wait until the end of the month for further details. Considering his support for multilateralism and prior reports about Paris’ interest in expanding the EU’s Takuba Task Force in the region, it can be expected that this new mission will incorporate the “Lead From Behind” stratagem. First practiced by the US during NATO’s 2011 War on Libya, this saw America delegating relevant responsibilities to partnered states like France and the UK with which it shared the same interests in overthrowing Gaddafi. In France’s case, it’ll likely position itself as the “first among equals” in a new coalition comprised of EU and West African countries that share the same interests in kinetically countering unconventional regional threats like terrorism and mass migration.

France had earlier been reluctant to share its decades-long hegemony in its post-colonial space that’s popularly referred as Françafrique, but begrudgingly accommodated American interests there during Washington’s so-called “Global War On Terror” (GWOT). The Western European Great Power launched its own regional variation thereof in 2013 at the behest of the Malian government and with the UNSC’s approval in order to help its West African partner defeat religious extremists that hijacked the Tuareg separatist movement which exploded the year prior following a military coup. Paris then expanded the area of its operations to include Mauritania, Burkina FasoNiger, and Chad, all of which now coordinate with one another through what’s referred to as the G5 Sahel framework. Nevertheless, this new alliance failed to thwart regional terrorist threats, which have only increased in the years since. There have also been growing accusations that France is complicit in human rights abuses there and more interested in protecting its privileged economic interests than tackling terrorism.

Operation Barkhane therefore proved to be increasingly unpopular both in its region of operations and within France itself, which compelled Macron to consider superficially changing its nature with a faux conclusion to that campaign in order to appease public opinion. Two recent events served as the “plausible pretext” for him to finally make this move: the unexpected killing of long-serving Chadian leader Idriss Deby on the front lines of his country’s latest war with rebels and the so-called “coup within a coup” that occurred in Mali last month. The Chadian capital of N’Djamena hosts Operation Barkhane’s headquarters while Mali is the center of the G5 Sahel’s joint efforts. Although France backs the new Chadian authorities, it might discretely be concerned about further instability there. As for Mali, the so-called “anti-democratic” actions in that country served to justify France’s reduction of support to its military mission on the public basis of not “legitimizing” those contentious political developments.

There’s another for this change as well, and it’s that France knows that it can no longer retain full control over such a geographically broad and politically unstable space on its own, hence the need to resort to the “Lead From Behind” stratagem. Not only will the latter enable it to shift the burden of regional leadership, but also the blame for the lack of tangible military-political success all these years. France knows that it’s in the EU and West Africa’s shared interests to assist its mission there since none of those three parties want to see more terrorism or mass migration. It was perfect timing for him to make the announcement that he did in the run-up to the NATO Summit, which enabled him to set part of its agenda in a way which best serves his country’s interests. It’s unlikely that France will ever fully withdraw from the Sahel since doing so would voluntarily sacrifice its hegemony there as well as exacerbate the two security threats that its military intervention sought to contain in the first place, so nobody should ever expect anything as dramatic as that.

The European and West African elite, each of which benefits from France’s indefinite military operations there, understand Paris’ concerns and are therefore expected to participate in its implied “Lead From Behind” stratagem. After all, the optics also serve their interests too, to say nothing of the substance. The EU wants to show that multilateralism has been revived after the four tumultuous years of unilateralism under former US President Trump while West African governments want to show their people that they’re trying to take more control over managing regional events on their own as much as possible. Closer EU-West African security coordination in the Sahel under France’s leadership can also lead to the expansion of relations in other spheres as well, especially the political and economic ones. Paris will have to “accommodate” more semi-independent behavior from a growing list of actors in Françafrique, but it believes that this is an inevitable evolution of its strategy which will enable it to indefinitely retain its hegemony there in the emerging Multipolar World Order.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Macron, France, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Operation Barkhane, Lead From Behind.


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France and Turkey attempt to mend fences after long period of confrontation | Source: RFI

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on a visit to Athens, Greece, May 31, 2021.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on a visit to Athens, Greece, May 31, 2021. 

Turkish Foreign Minister is visiting France, the first high-level diplomatic contact after months of tensions between the two countries. Points of contention between the two countries include Turkey’s military backing of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya; the dispute over Turkish gas exploration off the northern coast of the divided island of Cyprus; Turkey’s increasingly dominant role in northern Syria, and Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan against Armenia during the recent standoff over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

Source: RFI


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G7 set to launch green alternative to China’s Belt and Road | Source: Al Jazeera

The G7 is expected to launch a ‘Clean Green Initiative’ to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative when leaders meet at a summit next week in UK. The strategy would provide a framework to support sustainable development and the green transition in developing countries. Germany, France and Italy are keen for it to support activities in Africa, while the U.S. is pushing for action in Latin America and Asia. Japan argues for more focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

Source: Al Jazeera


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The Strategic Consequences Of A Possible French Military Intervention In Mozambique

19 MAY 2021

The Strategic Consequences Of A Possible French Military Intervention In Mozambique

A publicly available expert-level newsletter on Mozambique news reports and clippings from the middle of May predicts that France might launch a limited military intervention in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province in order to protect the offshore energy deposits of its national champion Total, which necessitates an analysis of such a move’s strategic consequences if it does indeed come to pass.

A Must-Read Report About Mozambique

The 16 May edition of the “Mozambique News Reports & Clippings” expert-level newsletter predicts that France might launch a limited military intervention in northern Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province in order to protect the offshore energy deposits of its national champion Total that are threatened by a newfound insurgency that some have linked to ISIS. Editor Joseph Hanlon does an excellent job educating his audience about this scenario and it’s highly recommended that all interested readers review his work in full. What follows are some of the main points that he put forth in his newsletter in the order that they’re introduced:

* There’s a growing debate behind the scenes in Europe over whether France should receive an exclusive security corridor in northern Mozambique or if a Portuguese-led EU force should take the lead instead

* Whatever is ultimately decided upon, it’ll probably take at least two years before any visible progress is made on the ground against the insurgents/terrorists

* ISIS is likely to exploit the optics of a foreign military intervention in order to increase both its reported role in the combat as well as its international recruitment efforts

* Domestic political infighting in Mozambique and subsequent politicization of the conflict suggests that there won’t be any clear consensus on it until after the next presidential elections in 2025

* Influential international associations regard the offshore region of northern Mozambique as a conflict zone at risk of piracy and other threats, thereby raising insurance costs for ships operating in those waters

* Maritime security can either be achieved unilaterally by France or jointly through it, South Africa, India (which has a base in nearby Mauritius), and Mozambique carrying out patrols there

* France might replicate the Baghdad Green Zone model to protect energy-relevant localities in the northern Mozambican mainland through walls, barbed wire, drone surveillance of the area, and other such measures

* There’s talk that France might even take control of the nearby vacation resort island of Vamizi in order to base helicopters, attack and surveillance boats, and drone control systems there

* The other foreign military players to keep an eye on are Portugal, the US, Rwanda, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), EU, and private military contractors (PMCs, which France might also employ)

* Nevertheless, military intervention might not address the possible socio-economic and political roots of the conflict but only combat its terrorist manifestations, potentially creating another Mali, Somalia, or Libya

Hanlon’s points are all very important and should be deeply reflected upon by all interested readers. Building upon his implied prediction that France is the most likely party to take the lead in this growing conflict, it therefore follows that one should conduct an analysis of the strategic consequences of such a move if it indeed comes to pass. France is regarded as Africa’s military hegemon despite being located in Europe due to the commanding influence that it wields in its former colonies that are commonly referred to as “Françafrique”. Mozambique, however, lays outside of France’s traditional “sphere of influence” in Africa.

Energy Geopolitics

Paris’ interest in the country stems from its vast offshore energy reserves that national champion Total planned to develop before the conflict erupted a few years back. These resources were initially expected to be a game-changer for the Mozambican people who remain among the world’s poorest. Regrettably, large-scale international corruption scandals in recent years ruined the ruling Frelimo party’s reputation and it’s now widely feared that these hydrocarbon riches probably won’t end up making much of a difference for the average Mozambican at the end of the day.

Even so, they’re significant enough of a find to have a powerful impact on the industry upon their future development, which adds a conspiratorial dimension of sorts to the conflict since some have speculated that foreign forces might be backing the insurgency/terrorism so as to delay those projects’ completion. In any case, it doesn’t seem like they’ll come online anytime soon considering the worsening intensity of the violence there, hence the reason why Paris is contemplating a military intervention in order to save its national champion’s investment.

Indian Ocean Region Conflicts

Observers should take note of Mozambique’s geostrategic location astride the southwestern reaches of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) that’s nowadays considered to be the world’s most important body of water as all 21st-century processes increasingly converge there. Although Mozambique isn’t located near any European-Asian trade routes, it still sits near the French islands of Mayotte and Réunion. This convenience could facilitate any prospective French military intervention, which in that scenario would mark the country’s participation in its first IOR conflict.

At the moment, the IOR is the scene of four armed conflicts – northern Mozambique, Somalia, Yemen, and Myanmar. The first two are closer in essence than the others, ergo Hanlon’s earlier mentioned fear of the former transforming into a variation of the latter with time. Both also count ISIS among the warring parties, albeit to questionable extents in each. For this reason, any French military intervention would be an energy-driven spiritual expansion of its ongoing Operation Barkhane mission in the Sahel that’s been launched on an anti-terrorist basis despite having ulterior interests as well such as stopping large-scale immigration to the EU.

The Franco-Indian Strategic Partnership

Seeing as how India considers the entire IOR to lay within its envisioned “sphere of influence” despite presently lacking the military capabilities to exert hard power all throughout this domain, it’s possible that New Delhi might consider playing a minimal role in the conflict even if only for prestige’s sake. This explains why Hanlon brought up the country’s naval base in Mauritius’ North Agalega island. Most realistically, India could carry out highly publicized joint anti-piracy missions, perhaps even emphasizing any partnered role with nearby South Africa so as to portray it a a partial BRICS operation in order to deflect criticism of following France’s lead.

On the topic of Franco-Indian relations, the two Great Powers signed a military logistics pact in 2018 which enables them to use one another’s bases. Many at the time thought that this might see India expanding its naval presence in the Horn of Africa via France’s outpost in its former colony of Djibouti or perhaps paying more frequent visits to the French islands of the South Pacific to support Australia’s reassertion of traditional influence there against China. It now appears possible that the Southeast African country of Mozambique might be where the French-Indian military partnership first “cuts its teeth” so to speak.

Mission Creep”?

From the French perspective, the primary mission is to secure Total’s investments. All other objectives are secondary and perhaps even beyond its intentions to tackle. This means that France might easily succeed with its actual mission but fail in the soft power realm if it isn’t as forthcoming with its true intentions and instead clothes its intervention in anti-terrorist rhetoric similar to its Sahel mission. In other words, even if France “wins” what it wants, it might still “lose” in the eyes of the world unless it engages in the dangerous trend of “mission creep” to expand its military “sphere of influence” there to ultimately stop the insurgency/terrorism.

France probably wouldn’t take that step unilaterally, which is why it’s more likely to expect that it’ll lead a multinational force whether on its own or perhaps in joint partnership with fellow EU-member and Mozambique’s former colonizer Portugal together with a formidable army of PMCs. Even so, since neither of them have the primary mission of stopping the insurgency/terrorism, they might not make much progress right away, instead relying more on PMCs and the Mozambican military to do such “dirty” and highly dangerous work for them though of course under their supervision.

Perception Management

With this in mind, one needs to consider how this mission would be sold to the rest of the world. The anti-terrorist angle is the most obvious one, but as mentioned, France’s interests in this respect aren’t all that sincere, nor for that matter are Portugal’s, since their involvement is really all about energy geopolitics, as is every foreign party’s as well. Presenting it in such a way also leads to high expectations for visible progress on the ground, which likely won’t be forthcoming anytime soon especially considering that it’s heavily forested terrain and France can’t even succeed in stopping insurgency/terrorism in the barren Sahel.

It might therefore end up being that they hype up their intent to “contain” the military threat instead of outright stop it. This would lead to more realistic expectations than talking about completely wiping out the insurgents/terrorists and appear as less selfish than being transparent about the true energy motivations. It would also engender wider support, perhaps even among domestic critics in those two EU countries and more broadly in the West since it’s veritably a virtuous mission (at least on the surface) to want to stop the spread of such threats into Tanzania and elsewhere.

Concluding Thoughts

To wrap it all up, France doesn’t appear to have many expected costs associated with its possible military intervention in northern Mozambique while standing to gain quite a lot in terms of energy interests and Great Power prestige, especially if it leads a multinational force in this conflict. Presenting its mission in terms of “containing” insurgency/terrorist threats instead of intending to completely wipe them out (at least right away) would also temper expectations and increase international appeal, including among India and South Africa who might participate in joint anti-piracy missions. For these reasons, Hanlon’s general prediction is very credible.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: France, Mozambique, ISIS, EU, Portugal, US, South Africa, SADC, India, Terrorism, Energy Geopolitics.


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Japan embarks on joint military maneuvers with US, France, Australia | SOURCE: NIKKEI

Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, and Afghan Taliban fighters, shown celebrating theJapan’s Ground Self-Defense Force is mounting a large joint military exercise with U.S. and French forces  on Japanese soil for the first time in response to China’s recent bearishness on regional security issues.(Courtesy of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force)

Japan’s ground troops began a large-scale joint exercise with the United States and France for the first time on Japanese soil. The move comes as Tokyo and Washington boost their alliance over regional issues including the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by Beijing, in the East China Sea amid an escalation of China’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas.

SOURCE: NIKKEI


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U.K. and France Call in the Navy, Sort of, in Channel Islands Fishing Dispute | SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

French fishing boats at the entrance to the harbor in St. Helier, Jersey, on Thursday.Credit…Marc Le Cornu, via Reuters

An ugly spat over post-Brexit fishing rights has erupted between Britain and France, as naval ships from both countries converged in the waters off the island of Jersey, where dozens of French fishing boats were threatening to blockade a port. Relations between Britain and France had already soured on a range of issues as Britain and the European Union divorced.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES


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AFRICA

MOZAMBIQUE:

  • French energy company Total halted operations on its $20 billion investment in a liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique after ISIS attacks and repeated rebel insurgency. The US sent 12 special forces officers to help train Mozambique’s military, and the EU is considering sending a military training mission.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL NEWS


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Chad: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same?

23 APRIL 2021

Chad: The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same?

The reported killing of long-serving Chadian leader Idriss Deby at the hands of his country’s latest rebel group and subsequent imposition of a military transitional government were thought by some to herald long-overdue change in this geostrategically pivotal state, yet it might very well be that nothing will end up changing all that much since such a scenario could result in France losing control of one of its top regional allies if that happens.

Deby’s Death

Observers were shocked after learning that long-serving Chadian leader Idriss Deby was killed at the hands of his country’s latest rebel group. Some even suspected that foul play might have been involved, with one of the most prominent theories speculating that it was an inside job by rogue members of the military who attempted to pull off an armed coup. Regardless of whatever might have really happened, the fact of the matter is that Chad experienced a sudden regime change instead of the “phased leadership transition” that usually occurs in “national democracies” such as this one which don’t employ Western models of governance. What’s most controversial about the immediate consequences of this unexpected development is that the armed forces suspended the constitution, established an 18-month military transitional government, and appointed the president’s son Mahamat “Kaka” Idriss Deby Itno as leader in a move condemned by some as an unconstitutional coup and possibly indicative of a power struggle among the inner military elite.

High Hopes

Nevertheless, some observers expressed hope that these moves might herald long-overdue change in this geostrategically pivotal state, perhaps resulting in a more Western form of governance in partnership with the leading “Front for Change and Concord in Chad” (FACT by its French acronym) rebel group and others when all’s said and done similar in a sense to the precedent that’s gradually unfolding in neighboring Sudan. Others think that the new military government might soon fall if FACT is able to successfully take the capital of N’Djamena in the coming future like it’s promised to do, inspired by Deby’s death and incensed by what they described as the “dynastic devolution of power” in the country. Those hopes, however well intended they may be, are probably premature and much too high when considering that such scenarios could result in France losing control of one of its top regional allies if that happens. The casual observer probably doesn’t know much about their historical patron-proxy relations, so some background reading is required.

Background Briefing

Here are three relevant analyses that I published over the years about Chad:

* 23 March 2017: “Chad: Hybrid War Strategic Risk Analysis

* 15 March 2019: “Has The World Been Ignoring An Almost Decade-Long ‘African Spring’?

* 25 March 2019: “Is Chad Losing Control Of The Central African Pivot Space?

Chad is “too big to fail” for France despite being ripe for regime change by protesters, rebels, and terrorists.

Anti-Terrorism Or Neo-Imperialism?

France justifies its patron-proxy relationship with Chad on the basis of shared anti-terrorist concerns, the latter of which veritably exist and are legitimate to a large extent but are nevertheless exploited for neo-imperialist purposes. Despite being oil rich, the country consistently ranks near the absolute bottom of the Human Development Index and is regarded as one of the most destitute places on the planet. This is attributable to rampant corruption, which the military is also suspected of participating in. France turns a blind eye to these practices despite publicly supporting “accountability and transparency among all” abroad because it conveniently enables it to maintain its proxy network among the country’s powerful armed forces, which in turn helps advance its regional goals, most recently in Mali. For all of its governing faults, Chad objectively has one of Africa’s most powerful militaries, which explains why former President Deby’s government had yet to fall to rebels despite coming close on several occasions. France airstrikes at critical moments also helped too.

Scenario Forecasting

It remains to be seen whether the Chadian National Armed Forces (FANT by their French acronym) can stem FACT’s week-long blitzkrieg towards the capital from their Libyan base, but if they can’t, then it’s very likely that France will intervene once again to save its struggling proxies. In the unlikely event that Paris doesn’t do so, then it might stand to lose enormous regional influence if the revolutionary authorities espouse any sincere anti-imperialist principles. It’s much more likely, however, that the military transitional government will remain in power and overcome the speculative differences between some of its factions. In that event, France might either go along with the possibility of its proxy potentially rigging elections to ensure “Kaka’s” victory if he isn’t able to win through legitimate means or it might flexibly adapt to changing circumstances to guide Chad’s incipient democracy through an unseen hand in the direction of its strategic interests. The only wild card is whether the Chadian people can successfully employ a grassroots-driven Color Revolution to stop this.

Concluding Thoughts

Chad is a very diverse and highly impoverished country in spite of its rich resource wealth, and it’s pretty much only been held together by a tight fist since independence, whether that was most recently Deby or his several predecessors. It’s quite typical of many African countries in this respect, which means that the onset of sudden instability such as the capital’s fall to rebel forces who might potentially be opposed in principle to continuing the country’s present course in foreign affairs (i.e. retaining the patron-proxy neo-imperialist relationship with France) or a successful Color Revolution inspired by Deby’s death could catalyze far-reaching and largely unpredictable consequences in the worst-case scenario. France is unlikely to sit back and lose one of its top allies in Africa which is why it’s predicted that Paris might soon militarily intervene in support of FANT should the need arise, and if need be, clandestinely “manage” (i.e. hijack) Chad’s incipient democracy.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Chad, France, Terrorism, Regime Change, Color Revolution, Hybrid War, Sahel.


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