Renaud Girard

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Renaud Girard, born 25 May 1955 in New York City, is a French journalist and writer. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration. He has worked as a war correspondent and written books about the Middle East, geopolitics and international relations.

He is an advocate of political realism. One of his concepts is that of the "principal enemy" (ennemi principal), which constitutes a hierarchy of political priorities. For example, in the Syrian Civil War, he considers the principal enemy to be Sunni jihadists, which makes it acceptable to seek alliances with Shi'a Islamist groups such as Hezbollah.[1] Another concept he uses is that of "blatant evil" (mal flagrant), which creates distinctions between different dictatorships. A dictatorship may be deserving of strong criticism, but at the same time not legitimize mass murder or strive for unlimited expansion, in which case it can not be considered as blatantly evil. This is exemplified by the regimes of Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad. On the other hand, NS Germany and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are examples which Girard regards as blatantly evil.[2][3]

Girard is very critical of the neoconservative movement and its doctrine of trying to impose democracy on other countries by force. He has argued that the United States under George W. Bush prioritized democracy in Iraq over the prospect of peace, which only lead to failure and took the country further from democracy than it was when the operation began.[4]


  • Pourquoi ils se battent ? : Voyage dans les guerres du Moyen-Orient, éditions Flammarion, 2005 ISBN 2080687697, Prix Montyon from the Académie française
  • La guerre ratée d'Israël contre le Hezbollah, éditions Perrin, 2006 ISBN 226202605X
  • Retour à Peshawar, éditions Grasset, 2010 ISBN 978-2246765516
  • Le Monde en marche, CNRS Éditions, 2014 ISBN 978-2271079916
  • Que reste-t-il de l'Occident ?, avec Régis Debray, éditions Grasset, 2014 ISBN 978-2246851363
  • Le monde en guerre. 50 clefs pour le comprendre, Carnets Nord / éditions Montparnasse, 2016.


  1. ^ Girard, Renaud (2015). "Savoir désigner notre ennemi princual". Revue des deux Mondes (in French) (3). Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  2. ^ "Quand les Occidentaux sont tétanisés par les destructions de Palmyre". Huffington Post (in French). 2015-08-31. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  3. ^ "Indignation et action : le décalage de l'Occident face à l'État islamique". Le Figaro (in French). 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2017-02-11.
  4. ^ Bastié, Eugénie (2014-06-13). "Irak : "On n'impose pas la démocratie à coup de chasseurs bombardiers"". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 2017-02-11.

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