Admiral Arne Røksund joins Beatrice and Paul to discuss a set of French strategists collectively referred to as the Jeune Ecole, ‘the young school’.
The Jeune Ecole is considered the counterpoint to many battle-obsessed land strategists and followers of 19th century US naval officer Alfred Thayer Mahan. Leading among the strategists of the Jeune Ecole were Admiral Théophile Aube (1826–1890), who held the posts of governor of Martinique and navy minister, and Gabriel Charmes, an influential journalist whom he had met in the French colonies. For them, as for many other strategists of the decades before and after the First World War, treaties were scraps of paper to be torn up upon the outbreak of war; all was fair, they argued, for a weaker power in defence of its interests.
Our guest, Admiral Arne Røksund, has had a distinguished career, holding posts including the Commandant and Commander in charge of all Norwegian military education, and Secretary General of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence. Currently the Secretary General of the Surveillance Authority of the European Free Trade Area, he holds a PhD in History from the University of Oslo.
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Røksund, Arne: The Jeune École: The Strategy of the Weak (Leiden: Brill, 2007).
Canuel, Hugues: ’From a Prestige Fleet to the Jeune Ecole: French Naval Policy and Strategy under the Second Empire and the Early Third Republic’, Naval War College Review, Vol. 71 No. 1 (2018).
Entry ‘Jeune Ecole’ in Daniel Coetzee and Lee Eysturlid (eds): Philosophers of War: The Evolution of History’s Greatest Military Thinkers (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger/ABC Clio, September 2013), vol. 2.
Senior Associate Fellow
Director, Military Sciences