After months of gradual and very offensive disclosures of intelligence on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions in Ukraine, the US Department of Defense has given a name to its new method: “campaigning”. “Campaigning”, in French. This approach, which did not prevent the war, argue its critics, but which disrupted Moscow’s plans, many admit, is now a pillar of the United States’ national defense strategy (NDS). On March 28, the Pentagon made public the first extracts, which are observed with interest by the French intelligence community.
« Le campaigning », “will enhance deterrence and allow us to gain advantages against all coercive actions by competitors”, assumes the US Department of Defense in its NDS, a simple two-page document at this stage, a preamble to the equivalent of its future defense white paper. “ United States […] synchronize broader departmental efforts […] to undermine acute forms of competitor coercion, complicate their military preparations, and develop our own combat capabilities with Allies and partners”is also specified.
The United States are not reinventing war communication but they are upsetting a certain number of codes of defense secrecy. A way of doing things that the United Kingdom has already joined, and considered today as a possible “game changer” by a French military source in the context of a change in the strategic cycle. “The strength of an authoritarian regime is the ability to unify discourse and not be accountable. The strength of democracies is transparency.she agrees.
By forging this concept of “campaigning”, the Americans put a word on reflections that were already underway within the intelligence community, but were drowned in the broader field of “informational warfare”. This break in habits and customs weighed on the ousting of the head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM), the cautious General Eric Vidaud, at the end of March, beyond the enmities and controversies on the anticipation of the war.
The former boss of the DRM, General Christophe Gomart (2013-2017), remembers that in 2014, it was by a courteous phone call that “US General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, had warned the former Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [CEMA]General Philippe de Villiers [2014-2017]the imminence of the invasion of Donbass by Russia ». This time, the current CEMA, General Burkhard, like the entire executive, had to deal with the thundering American preventive declarations and the daily tweets of the Defense Intelligence, British military intelligence.
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