WEBINAR – Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

Today we’ll be looking at why the French are considering sending military aid to Armenia…and no, its not because they’re looking to swap croissant and nazook recipes.

Let’s disregard NATO and EU ties to Azerbaijan for this discussion, because this move by the French is more motivated by Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan and Iran’s declining regional influence. There’s also some Armenian ex-pats who might be helping push this forward.

The French are coping with their loss of influence in West Africa by expanding their reach to Armenia in hopes that it will help give them some influence in a new sphere. This move would also help to position the French against the rising Turkish influence in the region, so two birds I guess.

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France recently has been, entering conversations about military assistance for aid or supply to Armenia. France, you know, famously has a large Armenian ex-pat population, but NATO, the EU, very broadly have deep energy trade monetization ties with Azerbaijan. is there a future quagmire facing, the individual elements of EU member states, the EU as an organization, NATO membership, with what seems to be a intensifying conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

This is this is purely a France issue. NATO’s actually involved with the Armenia Azerbaijan issue. If anything, it’s going to be decided by which direction the two other powers in the region decide to go Iran and Turkey. In the case of Iran, they don’t bring a lot to the table anymore, especially if the Russians are out in. 

The Russians are out. the Turks obviously out of a partnership and an ethnic relationship with the Azerbaijanis, and that is getting more robust by the day. And Azerbaijan has proven to be a wonderful testbed for Turkish drone technology, which has absolutely obliterated any strategic independence at the Armenians may have once had. So the French basically are playing a little bit of a double game. 

the French have lost their position. West Africa, which from a strategic and an economic point of view is no big loss. But it was a hit to the prestige. And they absolutely blame the Russians and absolutely accurately blame the Russians for that. So now the French are in the process of doing a strategic realignment. And that means, first and foremost, take a good, hard look at the interests of the country that are causing them to do that. 

And that is the Russians. So the French are considering putting troops in Ukraine very seriously, in order to provide a bulwark for the Ukrainians and most importantly, for the French to learn about all these changes in technology, as we saw with the Azerbaijani, Armenia war of late, as well as Ukraine war. Drone drones are the newest thing and the French have no experience with that. 

So in both of these theaters, that’s one of the things they’ve got their eyes on in terms of the Caucasus, the French have a little bit more room to maneuver there than, say, the Germans or the Italians, because they’re not dependent upon as of any energy at all. and we are seeing a rising what’s the right here interaction of Turkish interests and French interests. 

Because as the United States steps back from a lot of things, the eastern med becomes a potential zone of competition. And if that turns harsh, the French are gonna want some cards to play on another front. As a region, Armenia, the Caucasus plays into that. I’m not saying that these two powers have to not get along. I’m saying that they need to figure out whether they’re going to get along or not. 


And France establishing a few flags on the ground in Armenia is a way to do that. Doesn’t mean they’re going to be hostile. It means they’re going to be rubbing up against each other more often. And this is preparation. 

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