May 2011 - n° 740
The Chief of the French Naval Staff describes the rapid strategic developments of a world increasingly dependent on maritime transport. He shows how the French Navy, a blue-water navy with a world-wide perspective, is at the heart of the defence of the country’s interests and how it is organized to meet the challenges of the future.
The author explains how the current stalemate in Afghanistan has arisen by describing the gradual morphing of a war against terrorism into the establishment of an Afghan state constructed on western lines.
The current Arab-Muslim events on the European periphery suggest to the author a new strategic model to revitalize a European Union weakened by globalization. The re-ordering caused by these events seems to him a means of stimulating a European relaunch based on geopolitics of proximity.
The author gives a fascinating insight to the history of coastal, than ocean navigation as well as to the construction of certain seagoing craft dating back 4,500 years and more. The story expands from the coastal trade in the Mediterranean Sea to the spice routes from Europe to the Far East and back. A traditional method of construction of small vessels continues today in the Persian Gulf and beyond, with some surprising results. Read more