A War Worth Fighting? The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect

I published a review essay article in International Politics Reviews entitled “A War Worth Fighting? The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect”. You can access the article here or download the pdf, and I reproduce the abstract below.

journal_cover“The Libyan intervention, originally considered a success for NATO in the context of the ‘Arab spring’, is now criticized for creating the political turmoil Libya is currently going through. The three books under review offer different perspectives on the intervention itself, raising important questions about its conduct and its consequences. They also indirectly raise the issue of the difficulty to write about contemporary warfare”.

Unity or strength? Challenges of contemporary multinational operations

I just published an article in the collection “Focus Stratégique” edited by the French think-tank IFRI, focusing on the challenges of coalition warfare.  I reproduce the abstract below.

 

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“Contemporary multinational military operations occur in a strategic context characterized by the domination of limited conflicts for Western states. As such, those interventions are marked by a tension between the military logic of integration as a condition of effectiveness and the political logic of state autonomy. This situation leads to a number of specific dynamics, such as the imposition of restrictions on the use of force (“caveats”), the difficulty to achieve the unity of purpose and the unity of command, and the search for an increase of international legitimacy through the number of participants to the intervention. This article analyses the dynamics of contemporary multinational interventions, and explores potential ways to manage the difficulties related to the dialectic between integration and autonomy.

 

The thinkers of irregular warfare

I just published a book chapter, in French, entitled ” the thinkers of irregular warfare”. The chapter is part of an edited volume on the thinkers of strategy, which constitutes an update of Paret’s classic work.

You can buy the the volume here, and I also reproduce the table of contents below.

penseurs stratégie

Thucydide : stratégie, géostratégie et histoire,
par Jean-Nicolas Corvisier, Professeur d’histoire ancienne, Université d’Artois.

La pensée stratégique byzantine,
par Jean-Claude Cheynet, Professeur d’histoire byzantine, Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Polybe, sa pensée et sa réception,
par Thierry Widemann, Chargé d’Etudes à l’Irsem.

La pensée stratégique de Guibert entre science et littérature,
par Hervé Drévillon, Professeur d’histoire moderne, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Machiavel,
par Pierre Manent (EHESS)

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Institutionalised cooperation and policy convergence in European defence: lessons from the relations between France, Germany and the UK

My latest article, co-authored with Alice Pannier (Sciences Po/CERI) has just been published by European Security. You can access it here, or in pdf.

feus20.v023.i01.cover

The article explores the evolution of British, German and French defence policies since the end of the Cold war, interrogating the links between dynamics of policy convergence and bilateral cooperation. It draws conclusions that run against the assumption that international institutions foster the resemblance of national policies.

I reproduce the abstract below:

What are the prospects for trilateral concord among Britain, France and Germany in terms of defence policies? Would more institutionalised links among them lead to more convergence of their defence policies? To answer these interrogations, this article investigates the relation between policy convergence and institutionalised cooperation, in particular by studying whether and when one is a prerequisite to the other. First, this article examines the extent to which these countries’ defence policies have converged since the end of the cold war based on several indicators: their attitudes towards international forums, their defence budgets, the structure of their armed forces and their willingness to use force. Second, we study each of the bilateral relations between the three states to qualitatively analyse their degree of institutionalisation and the convergence of their defence policies. This article concludes that contrary to the arguments of many discussions, think-tank reports and political actors, there is no evidence that institutionalised cooperation leads to policy convergence as far as defence is concerned.”

A Tragic Lack of Ambitions: Why EU Security Policy is no Strategy

My latest article has been published by Contemporary Security Policy. You can access the online version here and download the pdf here.

It is a short article, part of a symposium discussing European security policy. The idea of the symposium was initiated by an article by Cladi and Locatelli arguing that the European Union is basically bandwagoning with the United States. This article triggered a reply by Benjamin Pohl, who instead argues that the EU is neither balancing nor bandwagoning, but that European security policy is driven partly by a shared liberal consensus, and partly by diverging national preferences and priorities rooted in idiosyncratic political cultures.

The symposium, which brings together the contributions of Felix Berenskoetter, Tom Dyson, Trine Flockhart, Adrian Hyde-Price, Jens Ringsmose and myself, discusses these two perspectives.

I reproduce below the abstract of my own article:

Tools of classical strategic analysis support distinctive explanations for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union. Looking at the articulation between ends, ways, and means offers a perspective on the CSDP that is different from the approaches usually favoured by European Union specialists or even security studies scholars. In particular, it is argued here that the CSDP is no strategy, and little more than an institutional make-up for the lack of strategic thinking within the European Union. First, I show that the CSDP is not European security, and that the EU security policy is astonishingly absent from the security challenges facing Europe. Second, I argue that this situation stems from a lack of a political project within the European Union. I refer to the classical distinction made by Hans Morgenthau between pouvoir and puissance to show that, short of a political project, we will not see a strategic CSDP any time soon.

Contemporary Security Policy