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Analysis notes

Iran's non-state partners in the Middle East: proxies, really?

The Lebanese Hezbollah, the Yemeni Houthis, armed Iraqi Shiite factions and even, more singularly, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are often presented as Iranian proxies in the Middle East. The underlying idea is that the key to influencing the actions of these groups would be to exert maximum pressure on Tehran. However, while there is evidence of Iranian material support for these non-state organisations, this does not, by its very nature, imply either total ideological alignment or a clear link of subordination. Speaking in general terms masks a reality that is likely to vary in terms of Iran's effective control over the direction of operations of the entities in question. This analysis highlights the limits of understanding the relationship between Tehran and the armed movements affiliated to it solely through the prism of the notion of proxies.

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Strategic stocks: mobilise or immobilise?

The war in Ukraine has accelerated the debate on Europe's dependence on resources - particularly energy - and raw materials. Russian gas, Chinese batteries, Taiwanese semi-conductors... How can we guarantee the security of our supply chains in the event of a crisis? One of the solutions that has come back into fashion concerns strategic stocks, i.e. the organisation, management and replenishment of certain resources deemed essential either for the population or for industries. This note puts the issue of stockpiling into perspective, highlights the relevance of certain models, and raises the question of the resilience of our countries and of France.

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France and the countries on Europe's eastern flank: what defence relations?

Against the backdrop of the threat to European security posed by Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, France is reaffirming its commitment to its allies on Europe's eastern flank. With a military presence in the region, it is helping to strengthen their deterrence and defence posture. This note places this support within the more general framework of defence relations between France and the States on Europe's eastern flank. It shows that, despite historically divergent strategic priorities, closer defence ties between these countries are both possible and desirable.

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Russia's return to Africa: a threat to French influence on the continent?

The analysis retraces the evolution of Russia's presence in Africa from the end of the Cold War to the present day and looks at how France is reacting to the return of competition between powers and its direct consequences on the African continent.
Africa has long been linked to France, and has been the scene of numerous external operations by the French army in recent decades. It is now at the heart of struggles for influence and the exploitation of strategic resources, sometimes reminiscent of the practices of the Cold War era.
Despite Moscow's return to the continent, Washington is pursuing the pivot policy initiated under the Obama administration and concentrating its efforts in Asia to contain the rise of its rival China. As a result, France finds itself in the front line in the fight against armed terrorist groups and is seeing its influence diminish in the face of Russia's disinformation policies and Russian private military companies, which already have a strong presence in the Central African Republic and Mali.

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What strategies for European security organisations? The EU's Strategic Compass and NATO's Strategic Concept

The war in Ukraine raises profound questions about the future of Europe's security architecture. Against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between Russia and NATO, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is justified, according to the Kremlin, by NATO's inability to provide sufficient security guarantees. Coincidentally, NATO plans to update the Alliance's Strategic Concept at its Madrid Summit in June 2022.

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Iran's non-state partners in the Middle East: proxies, really?

8 April 2024

The Lebanese Hezbollah, the Yemeni Houthis, armed Iraqi Shiite factions and even, more singularly, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are often presented as Iranian proxies in the Middle East. The underlying idea is that the key to influencing...

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Strategic stocks: mobilise or immobilise?

23 March 2023

The war in Ukraine has accelerated the debate on Europe's dependence on resources - particularly energy - and raw materials. Russian gas, Chinese batteries, Taiwanese semi-conductors... How can we guarantee the security of our supply chains in the event of a crisis?

find out more >>
IHEDN-Note d'analyse n°3 | Pour éviter l’hypothèse d’une fin du couple franco-allemand, Français et Allemands ne doivent tenir pour acquis les résultats obtenus par la génération qui a suivi la guerre mais continuer à entretenir et développer une relation essentielle pour les deux pays. C’est ce à quoi s’emploient l’IHEDN et son homologue allemand, la Bundesakademie für Sicherheit.

At a time of war in Ukraine, can we still speak of a "Franco-German couple"?

22 February 2023

To avoid the prospect of the end of the Franco-German partnership, the French and Germans must not take for granted the achievements of the post-war generation, but continue to maintain and develop a relationship that is essential to both countries. It is...

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France and the countries on Europe's eastern flank: what defence relations?

20 December 2022

Against the backdrop of the threat to European security posed by Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, France is reaffirming its commitment to its allies on Europe's eastern flank. With a military presence in the region, it is helping to strengthen...

find out more >>

Russia's return to Africa: a threat to French influence on the continent?

22 November 2022

This analysis retraces the development of Russia's presence in Africa from the end of the Cold War to the present day and looks at how France is reacting to the return of competition between powers and its direct consequences...

find out more >>

What strategies for European security organisations? The EU's Strategic Compass and NATO's Strategic Concept

18 March 2022

The war in Ukraine raises profound questions about the future of Europe's security architecture. Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which took place against a backdrop of deteriorating relations between Russia and NATO, is justified, according to the Kremlin, by NATO's inability to provide...

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After AUKUS: France in the Indopacific

1 February 2022

On 15 September 2021, after eighteen months of confidential negotiations, the "AUKUS" tripartite military alliance between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia was made public. This alliance involves the development of trilateral cooperation in a number of defence areas, including...

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The situation in Afghanistan

18 November 2021

"Historians date the birth of contemporary Afghanistan back to the 1880s, when the country's borders were largely the result of Russian-British colonial commissions. The first emir, Abdur Rahman, was to theorise what was to become Afghan policy during the...

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