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5 juin 2015 5 05 /06 /juin /2015 07:35
photo GEM

photo GEM

 

28.05.2015 CLES : Notes d'Analyse Géopolitique

 

Jean-François Fiorina s’entretient avec René Cagnat *

 

Officier de carrière longtemps en poste dans les pays de l’Est et en Asie centrale, essayiste et écrivain, universitaire et chercheur, grand voyageur devant l’Eternel, René Cagnat est un personnage aux multiples facettes qui connait en finesse les subtilités du monde eurasiatique.

 

A ses yeux, la France a tort de se désengager de cette zone hautement stratégique où elle bénéficie d’un capital de sympathie, qu’elle dilapide en se mettant à la remorque d’intérêts qui ne sont pas les siens. Conjuguant une approche universitaire à un sens aigu des réalités de terrain, René Cagnat nous convie à une balade envoûtante dans les steppes de l’Asie centrale.

 

Géopolitique des steppes

* René Cagnat voit le jour en juin 1942 à Tananarive (Madagascar).

En 1962, il intègre Saint-Cyr. Passionné de montagne, il choisit les chasseurs alpins.

Au cours de ses 37 années de service, René Cagnat va être affecté pendant plus de 15 ans en ambassade et à l’étranger, à Moscou puis Berlin- ouest, en Bulgarie, Roumanie, Ouzbékistan et Kirghizie.

Entre ces différents séjours, René Cagnat poursuit ses recherches en géopolitique.

Ainsi au Secrétariat général de la défense nationale (cabinet du Premier ministre) où il dirige, de 1975 à 1979, le bureau économie des pays de l’Est, puis, de 1988 à1989, auprès du Groupe permanent d’évaluation des situations (cabinet du ministre de la Défense), au Groupe de prospective et d’évaluation stratégique de 1982 à 1984, puis, en 1994, à la Délégation aux affaires stratégiques.

En 1999, il fait valoir ses droits à la retraite comme colonel pour rester en Asie centrale et résider en Kirghizie (consul honoraire de France, 2001-2002). Sa fine connaissance de l’Asie centrale lui permet de mener des missions de consulting au profit de groupes français voulant s’établir dans cette zone, de guider des journalistes et d’organiser des expéditions.

Tout au long de sa carrière, René Cagnat va approfondir ses connaissances géopolitiques. Il passe ainsi une maîtrise de russe (Sorbonne, 1979), se fait breveter de l’Ecole de guerre (1982), puis passe un doctorat en sciences politiques (Institut d’études politiques de Paris, 1983).

Il devient ensuite directeur de séminaire à l’IEP (1983-1985), professeur de français et de civilisation française à l’université américaine de Bichkek et à la chaire militaire kirghize, puis chercheur associé à l’IRIS, Institut de relations internationales et de stratégie (depuis 2010).

Outre les très nombreux articles qu’il signe dans toutes sortes de revues, en sus de ses apparitions dans des émissions et films sur des questions géopolitiques, René Cagnat a connu une carrière littéraire aux multiples facettes.

Voici quelques-uns des titres qui l’ont fait connaître : Le milieu des empires, entre Chine, URSS et Islam, le destin de l’Asie centrale (Robert Laffont, 1981, co-écrit avec Michel Jan, réédité en 1992 et traduit en turc), La rumeur des steppes (Payot 1999 ; Livre de poche, 2000 ; réédité en 2012), Asie centrale, vision d’un familier des steppes (Transboréal, 2001, puis 2003), En pays kirghize, visions d’un familier des monts Célestes ( Transboréal, 2006), Voyage au cœur des empires : Crimée, Caucase, Asie centrale (Editions nationales – Actes Sud, 2009), Afghanistan, les sept piliers de la bêtise (Editions du Rocher, 2012), Il était une France (Editions du Rocher, 2014)…

René Cagnat est Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur et Officier dans l’Ordre national du Mérite.

Pour en savoir plus : www. rene-cagnat.com

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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
China: setting the agenda(s)?

 

06 March 2015 Alice Ekman Brief - No4 - EUISS

 

Under President Xi Jinping, China is pursuing a dual regional policy characterised by firmness on territorial and maritime disputes, on the one hand, and a more alluring economic diplomacy, on the other. The latter is mainly being conducted through two official concepts, the ‘New Maritime Silk Road’ and the ‘New Silk Road Economic Belt’, named after the 2000-year-old trade routes which connect East and West. The overland route aims to link China with Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East, whereas the maritime corridor would flow from China to Southeast Asia, eastern Africa and, ultimately, Europe.

According to official communications, at the core of both these projects lays large-scale infrastructure development, in particular the improvement of transport links. This will be financed by, among other institutions, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a Chinese alternative to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which was launched last year with representatives from 20 other Asian countries (Japan, Australia, and South Korea were, however, notably absent). Beijing has emphasised that European countries, too, have a vested interest in supporting these new projects and related institutions, in part because the new Silk Road Economic Belt would facilitate trade flows between Chinese and European markets. But with individual EU member states beginning to seriously consider China’s offer, the Union might look at how to shape a common approach based on its priorities in – and long-term views on – Asia.

 

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8 mars 2015 7 08 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Turkmenistan and NATO hold forum on regional peace and stability

 

06 Mar. 2015 by NATO

 

Experts from five Central Asian states and Afghanistan gathered in Ashgabat for a NATO-sponsored regional conference on “Peace and Stability in Central Asia and Afghanistan: A View from Neutral Turkmenistan” on 2 and 3 March 2015.

 

This high-level event, organised jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the office of the NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia, was unprecedented in the history of Turkmenistan's partnership with the Alliance.

 

It was the fourth in a series of NATO-sponsored events marking the 20th anniversary of the Partnership for Peace programme in the Central Asian partner states. Moreover, it was included in Turkmenistan's official programme of events celebrating the "Year of Neutrality and Peace" on the 20th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution recognising the country's neutrality.

 

Turkmenistan's Deputy Foreign Minister Berdyniyaz Myatiev opened the event, while the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, addressed participants by video link from NATO Headquarters.

 

Turkmen participants included officials and experts from a wide range of institutions, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, Prosecutor-General's Office, the Institute of State and Law under the President of Turkmenistan, the Institute of International Relations and the International University of Humanities.

 

Experts from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the United States, and representatives of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the United Nations Development Programme, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, also spoke at the event.

 

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21 janvier 2015 3 21 /01 /janvier /2015 08:35
L'Asie centrale, nouvelle terre de recrutement de l'Etat islamique


20.01.2014 Laurent Marchand - Tout un monde
 

Dans un rapport publié ce mardi 20 janvier, l’International Crisis Group s’alarme de la capacité croissante de l’EI d’attirer des ressortissants des pays d’Asie centrale dans ses rangs. L’organisation indépendante appelle les gouvernements des pays concernés - Kazakhstan, Kirghizistan, Turkménistan, Tadjikistan et Ouzbékistan – à développer des réponses à la fois sécuritaires et sociales pour contrer ce phénomène.

"Entre 2.000 et 4.000 citoyens d'Asie Centrale ont rejoint ces trois dernières années les territoires contrôlés par l'EI", dans un contexte de corruption et de mauvaise gouvernance généralisées dans les cinq pays d'Asie centrale -- --, précise le rapport.

"Il est aujourd'hui plus facile pour l'EI de recruter en Asie Centrale qu'en Afghanistan ou au Pakistan", s'inquiète ainsi Deirdre Tynan, responsable de la région pour l'ICG, tandis que le rapport estime que seule la distance entre la Syrie et l'Asie Centrale explique qu'aucune attaque majeure n'y ait encore eu lieu.

"Tous pensent que le califat islamique pourrait être une alternative sérieuse à la vie post-soviétique", note le rapport. Car "dans ces cinq pays, la religion remplit un vide créé par le manque de gouvernance et l'insécurité sociale".

L'Ouzbékistan, terre d'origine du Mouvement islamique d'Ouzbékistan (MIO) lié à Al-Qaïda, serait particulièrement exposé à la menace terroriste d'après l'ICG, qui estime que le nombre d'Ouzbeks ethniques ayant rejoint la Syrie pourrait excéder les 2.500.

Lire le rapport en anglais : ICI

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22 octobre 2014 3 22 /10 /octobre /2014 16:35
Pamir : phase finale des travaux sur l’aéroport international de Douchanbé au Tadjikistan

 

20/10/2014 Sources : État-major des Armées

 

Depuis le début du mois d’octobre, les militaires du détachement du 25e régiment du génie de l’air (25e RGA) de Douchanbé ont débuté la dernière phase de travaux de la dernière campagne annuelle de réfection de l’aéroport international de la capitale tadjik.

 

Depuis le début du mois d’octobre, les militaires du détachement du 25e régiment du génie de l’air (25e RGA) de Douchanbé ont débuté la dernière phase de travaux de la dernière campagne annuelle de réfection de l’aéroport international de la capitale tadjik.

 

Entre 2004 et 2013, le régiment a procédé à la réfection des chaussées aéroportuaires de cet aéroport, conformément à nos accords de coopération avec le Tadjikistan. Depuis le 20 avril 2014, sur cette surface de 24 000 m², les sapeurs du 25e RGA ont réalisé, selon les normes internationales, quatre plots de stationnement pour avion moyen porteur type B757-200 et Airbus A310. Ils se sont aussi chargés de réparer les dégradations du taxiway, de poser trois pylônes d’éclairage, de réaliser le terrassement des réseaux et la déviation d’une ligne haute tension. Afin de réaliser les travaux dans les meilleures conditions de température, les sapeurs ont travaillé en grande partie de nuit, comme lors de la pose de béton ou la réalisation des joints.

 

Ils effectuent actuellement les travaux de finition (sciage des dalles béton et pose de joints à froid), de peinture et de pose d’anti-kérosène afin de livrer le chantier dans les semaines à venir. Une fois la campagne de travaux terminée, le DETAIR débutera son désengagement définitif du théâtre, après 10 ans de présence.

 

Le dispositif militaire français actuellement déployé dans le cadre des opérations en Afghanistan et au Tadjikistan est armé par environ 250 militaires, jusqu’à la fin de l’année 2014.

Pamir : phase finale des travaux sur l’aéroport international de Douchanbé au TadjikistanPamir : phase finale des travaux sur l’aéroport international de Douchanbé au Tadjikistan
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4 décembre 2013 3 04 /12 /décembre /2013 07:35
US halts shipments from Afghanistan through Pakistan

 

 

Dec. 3, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON — The US military on Tuesday suspended shipments of equipment out of Afghanistan through Pakistan, citing protests that posed a threat to the safety of truck drivers, officials said.

 

The move came after club-wielding activists in northwestern Pakistan forcibly searched trucks for NATO supplies in protest over US drone strikes in the country’s tribal belt.

 

“We have voluntarily halted US shipments of retrograde cargo through the Pakistan Ground Line of Communication (GLOCC) from Torkham Gate through Karachi,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said in a statement.

 

He was referring to the main overland route used by the Americans and NATO to withdraw military hardware from Afghanistan, as part of a troop pullout set to wrap up by the end of 2014.

 

Trucks have been told to wait in holding areas in Afghanistan, officials said.

 

“We anticipate that we will be able to resume our shipments through this route in the near future,” Wright said.

 

A defense official said Washington believed the Islamabad government fully supported the use of the route and that it would soon restore security to the area.

 

“The companies that we contract with were getting nervous. And it’s getting a little too dangerous for the truck drivers,” the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Agence France-Press.

 

The United States has alternate routes available to the north through Central Asia, although those options take longer and are more expensive.

 

About half of the US cargo is being taken out through the Pakistan route via the Torkham crossing, with the remainder being removed by aircraft or a combination of planes and ships.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:35
source centralasiaonline.com

source centralasiaonline.com

 

 

April 25, 2013: Strategy Page

 

Landmines continue to be a nasty problem for many former communist nations. This is especially true of countries in out-of-the-way places that rarely generate many headlines for any reason. A typical case is Tajikistan. One of the northern neighbors of Afghanistan, Tajikistan long had mines on its borders because of communist policies towards free movement (as little as possible). After becoming independent of Russia in the early 1990s Tajikistan went through several years of civil war in which both sides planted thousands of Cold War surplus landmines. Russia helped settle that internal conflict and supplied peacekeepers, who also manned the Afghan border to try and keep the Afghan heroin and hashish out. This involved more new minefields along the Afghan border. There were also some mines planted on the new international borders (with other former parts of the Soviet Union).

 

While Tajikistan got some foreign aid to help with clearing all those mines, only about 30 percent of the known minefields have been cleared so far. Fortunately the mines tend to be planted in thinly populated areas, so only about 350,000 people live near enough to the mined areas to be in any danger. Thus since 1991 20-30 people a year have been killed by the mines with another 30-40 wounded. Civilians are the most frequent victims of landmines.

 

Landmines were outlawed by an international treaty 14 years ago, but this mainly applies to nations that don't have landmines or don't have any reason to use them. Rebels and gangsters have not signed the international agreement and find the mines a cheap way to control civilian populations and slow down the movements of the security forces. It takes more time, money, and effort to remove these mines than to place them.

 

The most effective way to get the mine clearing done is by training local volunteers to be part of the part-time mine clearing teams. The government must provide training, pay (which should be good by local standards), health and life insurance. When a new bunch of mines are found (usually by an animal coming across them), the team gets to work.

 

Despite efforts like this it has not been a promising time for those seeking to enforce the ban on the use of landmines. In the last few years Israel, Libya, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Myanmar (Burma) planted new mines. In addition, there are three countries still manufacturing landmines (India, Myanmar, and Pakistan). Arms dealers will still provide large quantities of Russian and Chinese landmines, many of them Cold War surplus. China, Russia, and other communist nations were major producers of landmines during the Cold War. The mines were produced not just for use against potential enemies but to aid in keeping the borders closed and preventing citizens from leaving these unpleasant dictatorships.

 

There has been a growing list of outlaw organizations that are ignoring the 1999 Ottawa Convention to ban landmines. The Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan are manufacturing landmines in primitive workshops and using them against Pakistani, Afghan, and foreign soldiers, as well as Afghan civilians who refuse to support the Islamic terrorist group.

 

Despite the 1999 treaty, landmines are still causing over 5,000 casualties a year worldwide. About twenty percent of the victims are killed and 90 percent of them are males. This is largely because men are more likely to be out in the bush or working farmlands that still contain mines. A third of the casualties are security personnel (police and soldiers). This is because in many countries rebels and criminals are still using landmines, either factory made ones from countries that did not sign the Ottawa Convention or locally made models.

 

Landmines are simple to make and workshops are easily set up to do it. There's no shortage of mines out there, despite the fact that in the first few years after the 1999 Ottawa Convention was signed over 25 million landmines, in the arsenals of over fifty nations, were destroyed. But these nations were not users and rarely sold them either. For those who want landmines, they find a way to obtain and use them. The Taliban are the latest group to demonstrate this. Leftist rebels in Colombia have been making their own mines for years now, as have Islamic and communist rebels in the Philippines. There are believed to be over 100 million mines still in the ground and at least as many in military warehouses for future use.

 

The 1999 Ottawa Convention was supposed to have reduced land mine casualties among civilians. It hasn't worked because the owners of the largest landmine stockpiles, Russia and China, refused to sign. Chinese land mines are still available on the international arms black market. China is believed to have the largest stockpile, mostly of anti-personnel mines. The old ones are often sold before they become worthless. But even these mines, which go for $5-10 each, are too expensive for many of the criminal organizations that buy them. Land mines, competitive with the factory built ones from China, can be built for less than three dollars each. You can find all the technical data you need on the Internet.

 

Anti-vehicle mines are increasingly popular and are particularly common in poor countries where there are still a lot of dirt roads traveled by buses and trucks, carrying dozens of passengers each. While these mines are usually intended for military vehicles, mines can't tell the difference. As a result, in this year or next, Colombia or Afghanistan will have the largest number of annual mine casualties in the world.

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