Christian Bühlmann

Christian Bühlmann

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Following two previous meeting, the GCSP and the Institute for Disarmament and Peace (IDP) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), held the third round of their Confidence Building Measures (CBM) Seminar last week in Switzerland.

The 22nd European Security Course came to a close on 28 March 2018. It had begun on 6 February 2018, welcoming 21 participants from 20 countries for 8 weeks.

The NATO Defence College (NDC), located in Rome, Italy, ‘contributes to the effectiveness and cohesion of the (NATO) Alliance by developing its role as a major centre of education, outreach and research on transatlantic security issues.’ It ‘provides senior-level education and brings together senior-level military and civilian officials to interact on NATO issues.’ As part of the field study for NDC’s main course (Senior Course 132), Regional Approaches and Partnerships for Peace (PfP), students visited London, and Paris. The travelled then to Switzerland, a long-standing and very active member of the PfP. Upon their arrival in Geneva, on 27 March, the group went to the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) to receive briefings on International Geneva, the Swiss centres and on the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).The group was led by Brigadier General David Pincet, French Air Force, Head of the Academic Operations Division at NDC.

14th Orientation Course for Defence Attachés and Senior Officials successfully closes in Geneva.

The Defence Attaché Course (Geneva) is an interactive course organised by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). The missions of a Defence Attaché are constantly evolving. This course aims to develop the skills and expertise of defence officials working in a multilateral, multicultural environment within the field of international security. This is done through practical training in national and international procedures as well as other areas relevant for their future work.

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‘Few know the story of the Polish General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought for freedom on both sides of the Atlantic and gave Thomas Jefferson his fortune in America to free African slaves.’ 

On 2 March 2018, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) hosted a public discussion on the extraordinary life and deeds of Gen. Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a Polish military engineer, statesman and military leader, who not only became a national hero in his own country, but also played a pivotal role in the War of Independence and advocated for the manumission of African slaves in the United States.

Conceived by GCSP Executive-in-Residence, Adam Koniuszewski and hosted by RTS Switzerland news anchor Darius Rochebin, the event was also held in recognition of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a principle that Gen. Kosciuszko also championed, along with freedom, justice and equality for all. GCSP’s Director, Ambassador Christian Dussey gave an opening remark, followed by Adam Koniuszewski’s presentation on General Kosciuszko’s life.

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The character of war has changed forever.

On 12 February, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) conducted a public discussion with Martin van Creveld, Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He shared observations on how military strategy has changed and remained constant in the new security landscape. According to van Creveld, military strategy still faces the difficulty of exercising political control over an event so fraught with emotion.  It still depends on a mixture of force and guile and has to deal with the Strapazen (stress and strain) of conflict. Uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations, the "fog of war" remains a factor, as does the need for leadership, organisation, discipline and cohesion. Van Creveld also stressed the continuing importance of strategic surprise and the need for quality over quantity in all aspects. 

Yet despite these constants, numerous aspects of war have changed, requiring new military strategies. Van Creveld noted the rise of air war, as well as at sea (submarine war), space war, and cyberwar, and the demise of Blitzkrieg, the introduction of new weapons and weapon systems in war raging from tanks and machine guns to Precision-Guided Munitions (PGMs).

Le professeur Martin van Creveld, historien militaire prolifique et stratégiste réputé, a visité le Centre de Politique de Sécurité de Genève (GCSP) le 12 février 2018. Il a donné une conférence sur le thème de « la transformation de la stratégie dans le turbulent 21ème siècle », en référence proclamée à son plus célèbre ouvrage, The Transformation of War. Publié juste après la seconde guerre du Golfe, ce livre présageait la fin des guerres trinitaires et anticipait l’émergence de conflits entre des États et des groupes armés non-étatiques.[1]

C’est à une relecture contemporaine que nous convia van Creveld. Devant une assistance acquise à son analyse, il a rappelé avec humour et de manière persuasive la persistance de sa réflexion. Il a tout d’abord souligné les dimensions pérennes de la guerre. Il a ensuite montré l’élément central de la transformation stratégique contemporaine, puis s’est attaché à décrire les conflits actuels comme non-trinitaires et intra-étatiques. En conclusion, il a questionné la capacité des démocraties libérales à s’adapter à ces changements sans perdre leur âme. Nous présentons ci-dessous les éléments centraux de son intervention particulièrement dense. La Dr Christina Liang, responsable du cluster « Terrorisme et crime organisé » au GCSP, a dirigé la discussion avec compétence.

Lien sur l'article

Christian Bühlmann (2018) "La stratégie en transformation" in Revue Militaire Suisse, 1-2018, pp. 16-17.

Rapport de la conférence de Martin van Creveld au centre de politique de sécurité, Genève, le 12.2.2018.

Le 2 mars 2018, l’assemblée annuelle de la société suisse des officiers de la logistique (SSOLOG), section romande, s’est tenue au GCSP. Parmi les invités, on reconnaissait notamment le chef de l’Armée, le commandant de corps Philippe Rebord ainsi que le brigadier Guy Vallat, commandant de la formation d’application de la logistique. Le colonel d’état-major général (EMG) Christian Bühlmann, directeur du programme de perspectives régionales au GCSP, les y a accueillis.