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Real and simulated training: an essential complement for armiesPublished on 06/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef de bataillon Nicolas PIERSON

In this period of budgetary constraints, the author very opportunely shows us the relevance of the complementarity between training in the field and training on simulation tools.

Winston and Clementine CHURCHILL "Intimate Conversations (1908 - 1964)"Published on 04/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
Madame le Professeur Françoise THIBAUT

As the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings has just been celebrated, these "intimate conversations" between Winston Churchill and his wife take on a particular acuity. Mrs Françoise Thibaut, well known to our readers, gives us an analysis of them which, according to the standards of the Cahiers, should have appeared in the section "On a aimé...". The finesse, richness and details of this analysis and its topicality are such that it finally has its rightful place in the "General Interest Articles" section. Others will follow it in future issues.

Cyberwar or the questioning of France's rank on the international stagePublished on 04/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef de bataillon Bruno EMPTAZ

Based on various and eloquent examples of cyber attacks, this article demonstrates the urgent need to consider cyber warfare as a fact and not as a hypothetical threat born of a few alarmist minds. It also recalls the concrete measures taken by the French public authorities since the 2008 White Paper, particularly within the Ministry of Defence. A comparison with other major nations finally reveals the extent of the threat and the path to be followed to guarantee France's rank in this new area of conflict.

The Army Health Service in Afghanistan From the place of injury to the return to France Published on 03/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Médecin chef des services (ER) Jacques MONSÉGU

How better to present this article on the Health Service in Afghanistan than by repeating these words of the Chief of the Defence Staff, reported below by the author: "The reason we can ask so much of our men is because they know the medical support is there"? The French SSA enjoys a reputation for excellence, particularly in external operations, due as much to the quality and commitment of its members as to an original and rigorous organisation. Through a very personal, lively and committed testimony, the Chief Medical Officer of the Monségu services describes its principles, shows us the interactions with the different actors in the theatre and takes us through the evacuation chain in a realistic way. The Cahiers thank him warmly for his testimony, and are happy, thanks to him, to pay tribute to our Health Service.

NATO: what to think about it, what to do with it?Published on 02/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Général de corps d’armée Éric MARGAIL

At the head of the headquarters of the Rapid Reaction Corps - France for the past year, I discovered, in this headquarters belonging to the NATO Force Structure [1], a privileged observation and contactpost with the Alliance. Of course, this is a bottom-up approach from an operational headquarters, complementary to a more strategic or geopolitical analysis.

Civil-military management of external crises: for the promotion of French economic interestsPublished on 01/06/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef de bataillon Benoît LACARRIÈRE

In France, civil-military management of external crises is an old concept on which there is a consensus. It is based on a continuum of action in crisis, but faces certain difficulties in its implementation because coordination, however real it may be, is still too partial. Indeed, the private sector deserves to be more involved in this process, which would therefore participate directly in the promotion of French economic interests.

"It is essential to strike the right balance between the military and civilian effort and to achieve full coordination in all areas. Otherwise we end up in a situation where military operations produce no lasting effects because they are not supported by complementary civilian actions. Similarly, civilian measures...are a waste of time and money if they are not supported by military operations designed to provide the necessary security".

(Robert Thomson, Defeating Communist Insurgency - 1966)

Authority, youth: principles of military command that resonate with the expectations of new generations of authorityPublished on 31/05/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Capitaine Nécika LESAULNIER

Authority and youth are two terms that seem to be contradictory today. Far from being a clumsiness, this association makes it possible to address the demands of the new generations vis-à-vis those in authority. Through a psychological approach to these expectations, the author proposes to consider military authority as a possible response.

Towards a professional army... efficient and effective Published on 30/05/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef d’escadrons Ludovic SOMMERLAT

"The politics and strategy of war are a perpetual competition between common sense and error."

Charles de Gaulle.

The introduction of performance management and monitoring tools is a positive and necessary development, but must be carried out with discernment when applied to the public sector and to the Ministry of Defence in particular. Uncritical acceptance of business practices can weaken command and be detrimental to the effective conduct of operations.

Relations between civilian and military officials: avoid the tile dog syndromePublished on 29/05/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Chef d’escadrons Flavien LANET

The current debate on the place of the military in the interministerial dialogue raises the question of complementarity and mutual understanding between actors of different sensibilities and cultures. Optimising civil-military dialogue within the civil service will inevitably involve more reciprocal action in the fields of education on the one hand, and the sharing of responsibilities in operational situations on the other.

What was the Maginot Line used for?Published on 28/05/2018

military-Earth thinking notebook
le Colonel (ER) Henri ORTHOLAN

The fate of the Maginot Line is still a matter of debate today. Did it play the role that was expected of it? On the contrary, did it not turn out to be a costly and useless achievement? Colonel Ortholan, Doctor of History, shares his thesis with us here, expressed forcefully and based on concrete arguments, even if they are sometimes disturbing.