by Luciano Pollichieni
Nowadays Chad is becoming increasingly relevant as a security partner for the West and for France in particular. Despite the increased influence in the African geopolitical scenario, it is difficult to fully understand the country’s objectives and how it manages to achieve them. Indeed, a close study of Chad’s history and political environment shows the impact of how the idea on the use of force as a regulator of social and power issues on the country strategy, which is based on military activism In brief, in Chadians’ psychology there is an almost complete absence of the concept of “soft power”.
This means that holding and exercising power can never be separated from the use of force. Furthermore, this concept of power is exerting a strong influence on the geopolitical strategy of N’Djamena, especially in its partnership with the West and with France in particular. Whatever the end of the numerous crises in the Sahel and the Lake Chad, it is clear that Chad will play an important role. For this reason, Chad’s ambitions and its plans for these regions should not be overlooked. Moreover, the current crisis in the Sahel and in Sub-Saharan Africa will influence the European politics for years to come with respect to many issues (migrations, terrorism, environment). This is another reason to study and understand Africa and its main actors, including Chad.
The first part of this Research Paper will analyse the Chadian approach to warfare and how it is influenced by the experience of the so-called “warlordism”. The author will also explain why the current division of power inside Chad is strictly linked to military strength. The second part will try to explain the Chadian geopolitical strategy and how the N’Djamena regime is trying to transform its weaknesses in strengths. The third part of the paper will investigate the French-Chadian relations both in terms of security and geopolitics, while a section will focus on the Chad-American relations. Finally, the limits of the Chadian strategies will be analysed, together with the French ones. The aim will be to shed the light on the strong limitations of the current approach to some of these problems, and how it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Chad and France to stabilise these regions in this way.
Free dowload Research Paper N°46/August 2016: “Chad at war: France’s short-term solution“