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Featured articles

Taking inspiration from nomadism? Published on 09/03/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Commandant Fiona BURLOT

The confrontation between nomads and sedentary people appears to be a constant in conflicts. Even today, the adversaries (particularly in the Sahel) faced by the French army use modes of action strongly inspired by the nomadic lifestyle. A reappropriation of the nomadic fact can therefore only be useful, both to better understand those we are fighting against but also to develop other capacities that will allow us to better take the ascendancy. Thus the study of the origin of Mongolian nomadic combat, the evocation of the nomadisation of "Western" troops in History and what this evolution has brought them could allow "conventional" units to reinvest this field of war.

From Black Flags to Boxers: Thinking the Irregular Enemy in the Tonkin and China CampaignsPublished on 04/03/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Monsieur Jean-Philippe GIRAUD

In this article, Mr. Giraud underlines the interest of the study of French expeditions in the Far East at the end of the 19th century, from the point of view of knowledge of the enemy. Engaged in partly asymmetrical conflicts, first in Tonkin and then in China, French forces faced an irregular adversary composed of nationalist insurgents, pirates and secret martial arts societies. Despite still embryonic military intelligence, mainly oriented towards the regular armies of Western Europe, the French expeditionary forces are adapting, not without difficulty, to this complex human environment.

"Na rodina" - "For the Fatherland": the new place of the officer in Russian societyPublished on 02/03/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Mademoiselle Maëlle MARQUANT

This article highlights the rehabilitation of the image of the officer in Russian society since Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999. Mademoiselle Marquant thus shows how Russia has combined the glorification of military achievements, past and present, with the popularization of military careers among young people, in order to strengthen the patriotic feeling of the entire people while meeting the mass need of its army.

André Malraux and the warrior spiritPublished on 25/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Colonel (er) Claude FRANC

Wars are won with warriors, not soldiers.Hope.

The author uses the operational experience of André Malraux during two very different conflicts to distinguish the military from the warrior. His exceptional destiny, his political convictions and his political commitment are an outstanding illustration of the warrior spirit manifested in singular and even controversial circumstances.

The "increased" soldier: what are the stakes for the army?Published on 23/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Sous-lieutenant (R) Gaspard SCHNITZLER

Subject to fears and fantasies, the issue of the "augmented" soldier has been the subject of debate for several years, both in the civilian and military spheres. Based on three prospective scenarios, Second Lieutenant Gaspard Schnitzler mixes political, economic and ethical considerations in a resolutely operational approach. While a reflection on improving soldier performance seems indispensable, it nevertheless appears to be a limited, even illusory response, given the challenges facing our armies and the stakes of tomorrow's fighting.

Counter-insurgency-proof technologyPublished on 18/02/2021

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef de bataillon Émilie PICOT

While it brings undeniable advantages to forces in counter-insurgency operations, technology can quickly prove counter-productive when misused or mismanaged.

The part of ideology in the campaigns of the Revolution and the Empire or what drives the soldier to go to battle? Published on 18/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Lieutenant-colonel Georges Housset

While in 1789, the notion of a warrior spirit seemed to be absent from the brand new French nation, the latter first engaged in a struggle for survival. The insistence of part of Europe to oppose the development of revolutionary ideas, and then French imperialism, led to almost uninterrupted wars for twenty-three years. The author sets out to explain the nature of the mechanisms that enabled the soldier of the Revolution and then of the Great Army to endure, and even take advantage of, this era of conflict.

" France was made with the sword . »1 Charles De Gaulle

The soldier of the future: what technologies for what kind of warrior?Published on 18/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Chef de bataillon (R) Guillaume LASCONJARIAS

The debates around conflict transformation and the impact of technology are as old as the art of war. It is true, however, that recent technological developments have raised questions about an augmented soldier whose capabilities should help him or her to better understand a complex environment. This article proposes to educate about complexity rather than relying on technological criteria alone.

Young citizens and the profession of arms: what prospects for 2035?Published on 11/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
Commandant (R) Pascal LE PAUTREMAT

The link between the individual and the military society remains a subject of study and concern because, for our country as for any State, it is imperative to have a pool of motivated citizens ready to serve the nation within the framework of the defence policy. This state of affairs invites us to reflect on the evolution of the relationship with the profession of arms that young Frenchmen have and will have in the near future, whereas individualism and the comfort of daily life do not encourage rusticity and self-improvement.

The spiritual motivations of the fighterPublished on 09/02/2021

General Military Review No. 56
capitaine (R) Xavier BONIFACE

Among the factors that motivate combatants to fight, that of religious and more broadly spiritual convictions is now being questioned by the human sciences, after having previously been the subject of ideological debates. This dimension is broadly understood as ranging from fidelity to a revealed religion to a more informal religiosity. It involves two main complementary aspects: on the one hand, the rooted faith that stimulates and helps to justify the struggle being waged, and on the other, a "religion of emergency" that reflects the soldier's quest for assurance in the face of danger. Does spirituality therefore contribute to maintaining one's inner strength, and therefore one's fighting spirit? In war, the soldier is attached to beliefs and representations that help him to overcome the harsh reality. Spirituality is part of this dynamic, but it does not fully conform to it: it offers a glimpse of transcendence and humanity in a warlike horizon characterized by immanence and inhumanity. If it helps to increase a soldier's moral strength, it is primarily at the level of the individual and not at the level of the military community, because beliefs are personal even if their expression is social. It can also meet limits (it does not prevent stress). Conversely, war is also a source of spiritual awakening. A rough typology could distinguish the crusader, the believer and the incredulous. The former places his religion at the heart of his warrior commitment; the latter relies on his faith to adapt to war; the latter moves away from it, on the contrary, without this change affecting his combativeness. If spirituality can help the soldier to hold his own in the circumstances of war, it is rarely an adjunct to motivate him to fight, for it then presupposes not only faith but also religious reflection.

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