colonel cassad for thu nov 26

Why France blames Russia and Turkey for its problems in Africa
Colonel Cassad, Nov 26, 21:03

France took the most direct part in unwinding the flywheel of the “Arab Spring,” supporting the implementation of “color scenarios” in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Libya. In the case of the latter, Paris acted as the main initiator of foreign intervention to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed with the participation of the republic’s special forces in the Sirte region. As it was established after the destruction of the Jamahiriya, the actions of the French side were guided by purely selfish motives of Nicolas Sarkozy, who tried to hide the receipt of money from Gaddafi for his election campaigns. The lawsuits for this dirty story are still ongoing.

As a result of the Arab Spring, radical political Islamism began to explode in the region, especially in those countries where a change of power took place across the street. Movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups like Daesh and Al-Qaeda have been given good ground to grow by taking advantage of the chaos that has ensued. The barriers to Islamic radicalism created by the ousted MENA autocrats, and effectively holding back its growth, have been removed. Instead of establishing freedom and democracy, proclaimed as one of the main goals of the Arab Spring, the region plunged into chaos, the products of which began to penetrate into Europe. Barriers to refugees from devastated countries were destroyed along with the dismantled “non-democratic regimes.” Along with the refugees, more and more radical Islamists, including France, who not only propagated their ideas, but also committed terrorist attacks against the Europeans, entered Europe.

In the Fifth Republic itself, due to the increase in the number of refugees, the ethno-religious fragmentation of society intensified, with the isolation of ethnic enclaves from it, refusing to integrate into a single French socio-cultural space and choosing the path of life in a kind of ghetto, cultivating the cultural and religious norms of other countries. Terrorist attacks were not limited to the territory of the countries destroyed by the Arab Spring, gradually increasing momentum both in France itself and in the states included in the zone of neocolonial influence of Paris. By the end of the 2010s, Islamic terrorism became the norm for the republic and countries in its sphere of influence. This, in turn, gave rise to flows of migrants from territories that were formally unaffected by the Arab Spring. Including to France. The process has become self-sustaining. As a result, the events that Paris initiated and brought closer led to systemic consequences for the republic itself. The country is mired in the fight against internal political Islam and terrorism, as well as in attempts to absorb the anthropogenic flow from the MENA. She also faced systemic repercussions for the French sphere of influence in Africa.

Consider 3 of the most striking examples of “successes” of French policy in Africa. Until 2011, Libya was not part of France’s sphere of influence, but its active participation in the overthrow of Gaddafi increased the country’s involvement in Libyan affairs. Paris not only provided military support for the PNC Libya, but intensively promoted the interests of its oil companies, and above all Total, in active competition with the Italian company ENI. In fact, by the end of 2013, the Fifth Republic could consider part of Libya to be within its sphere of influence. With the strengthening of the LNA’s position, France, in exchange for support from the Eastern government, entered into a number of contracts in the oil industry, which were supposed to guarantee her privileged rights after the military victory of Khalifa Haftar. But already from 2016-2017, the republic had to accept a new reality, within which the LNA conducted parallel negotiations with Russia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and also entered into various deals with them.

Paris was unable to independently manage the Libyan chaos. In 2019, Turkey actively invaded Libya, which provided military support to the PNC, stopped the threat of the LNA capture of Tripoli, and carried out intensive work to delegitimize it. Thus, Ankara has jeopardized the oil contracts that France concluded with Haftar. At the suggestion of Turkey, Libya’s PNC (whose legality Paris recognizes) actively used criticism of French colonialism in official diplomatic and propaganda statements. The shaky ceasefire reached in the summer of 2020 passed virtually without the participation of France. To a large extent, the fate of the Libyan war was decided in direct negotiations between Russia and Turkey and the balancing of forces at the front, in which the role of the republic was also very small. As a result, by the end of 2020, the positions of Paris in Libya were in limbo, while Ankara and Moscow have real levers of influence on the military-political situation and can negotiate among themselves, ignoring France. Just as she neglected the interests of the Russian Federation, promoting the intervention in Libya in 2011.

Since 2013, France has conducted Operation Serval in Mali, which targeted local separatist and terrorist groups, as well as supporting the local government loyal to Paris. Since 2014, these actions have been combined with Operation Barkhan, carried out in several countries of North-West Africa. In part, they eliminate the consequences of Paris’ actions in Libya, from where a stream of weapons poured into the region from the warehouses of the Libyan army and militants who joined the ranks of Daesh or Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. Despite the length of the operation, the terrorist groups in Mali were not completely overcome, despite periodic requests from AFRICOM for assistance. Moreover, poor governance led to periodic political crises, culminating in a full-fledged military coup in 2020.

France almost immediately accused Russia and Turkey of involvement in the preparation of the coup and inciting anti-French sentiments, pointing to the publications of the Turkish press, rallies with Russian flags in Bamako and the facts of the biography of some putschists who studied in Russian military universities (while ignoring the fact that some the organizers of the coup were trained in the United States). Nevertheless, she had to come to terms with the fact that the government in Mali had changed without the knowledge of France, and among the first diplomats with whom the new military government met were representatives of the Russian embassy. For the full material with maps, see here.

French Senate adopted resolution on recognition of Karabakh
Colonel Cassad, Nov 25, 22:27

The French Senate voted by a majority vote for the resolution that calls on the French government to officially recognize Karabakh. The French Foreign Ministry stated that it would be undesirable to recognize Karabakh, since it would not benefit Armenia, and indeed, no one recognized Karabakh, why should France be the first? The Aliyev administration called the adopted resolution an ordinary piece of paper that costs nothing. Armenia itself welcomed the adoption of such a resolution, since it brings Karabakh the closest to international legalization. In general, the question is whether the lobbyists will suppress the recognition of Karabakh through the government and the resistance of the French Foreign Ministry. If successful, France loses its positions in the negotiation format within the OSCE, but on the other hand, this is a way to undermine Moscow’s efforts to resolve the Transcaucasus and at the same time show the fig of Turkey, relations with which are rapidly degrading.

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