World football star, Argentina’s geopolitical and strategic position is much less glorious. The 40th anniversary of democracy (since the end of the last military dictatorship) was discreetly celebrated this year 2023, and it seems to have miraculously survived the involution that the country has known for several decades. Profound erosion of the politico-strategic apparatus, shadow theaters of parties converted into circumstantial coalitions, economy at a cliff’s edge, and an open but defiant and fragmented society. Forged a little over two centuries ago at the end of a powerful founding momentum, richly endowed both in geographical scope and in resources, the Argentine nation is today lacking in political and cultural numen, apart from itself and subject to the winds of globalization.

Part of the G20, its economy has recorded one of the lowest per capita GDP growth rates in Latin America over the 1999-2022 period, while almost 40% of the population currently lives below the poverty line (less than $10 a day regarding local standards). Hyperinflation is now flirting with an external debt equivalent to the country's gross domestic product. The Peronist movement, which skilfully consolidated the foundations of an industrial state during the 1950s and 1960s, was transformed, first under the presidency of Carlos Menem and then that of Néstor and Cristina Kirchner, into a political franchise, infiltrated by its radical factions, repositories of revolutionary Castrist ideology.

The reasons given for this situation are varied. Some raise the classic arguments of institutional corruption, lack of cohesion in the elites, or repeated errors in economic management. Others look for justifications in the return to a glorified past, culpogenic postures or the sweeping away of political “impurities”. Like other fractured societies, the loss of explanatory references appears here as a problem added to the others, the political and informational space no longer being able to provide a discernment of the internal dynamics of the country and its conflictual insertion into globalization. However, to understand the itinerary of this offshoot of the extreme West, it is precisely necessary to abstract oneself from the conventional language of the social and political sciences and switch to a fundamentally conflicting and polemological framework of interpretation.

In fact, the Argentine nation continues to suffer the setbacks of a strategic collapse since the end of the First World War and of conflicting dynamics that it has failed to anticipate or control. These dynamics were shaped by the balance of power during the Cold War in Latin America and then amplified by the modalities of contemporary confrontation in which the immaterial dimension plays an eminently strategic role.

The first conflictual dynamic, inherited directly from the bipolar world, comes from the long and irregular clash, from 1955, between the liberal State apparatus and the Marxist-Leninist armed struggle throughout Latin America. The revolutionary centers developing on Argentine soil are particularly active but doomed to crushing because of the ideological aberration of the focoism that underlies them. Their radicalization in the early 1970s formed the fabric of a civil war that forced the Argentine State to brace itself on its internal security and to engulf its democracy. From 1976 to 1983, the very repressive military regime emerged exhausted from the confrontation, also from an economic point of view. As elsewhere in Latin America, the armed struggle was defeated militarily, but its vanguard did not abandon ideology and its revolutionary vocation. In paradoxical collusion with the United Kingdom, which has opened a military front in the South Atlantic, it will gradually engage in three other fields of operation, namely information, justice and politics, with the ultimate objective of conquering the power.

The return to democracy in 1983 precisely reopened this information and political space, with the imperative of implementing a reconciliation adapted to the previous context of civil war. Atrocities were committed on both sides. A second military deflagration has just taken place in the South Atlantic that London is busy prolonging in the form of “political warfare”. British intelligence introduced, through the Argentinian jurist Carlos Nino - a professor at the University of Oxford - an approach to reconciliation based not on military justice but on civilian judiciary and criminal law. This approach is celebrated as an innovation on the local and international scene, compared to other post-conflict reparation approaches (Cambodia, former Yugoslavia, Nuremberg, etc.). In practice, it will be conducted in an extremely meandering and selective manner over forty years of political-judicial activism. At the end of a very controversial process, the armed forces and the military junta will be effectively sentenced, while the authors of the armed struggle, sanctioned at first, will be pardoned in the 1990s.

The seeds are thus sown of war with a reverse front and of a first cognitive encirclement. On the one hand, the judicial approach skews the nature of the pacification process after the dictatorship and amputates the State of its armed forces. On the other hand, a proselytism of human rights is instilled within society, to surround the military and to expiate on it the responsibility for violence. An information war supports this cognitive modeling. The Junta becomes the only synonym of “State terrorism”, “crime against humanity” and “genocide” having produced “30,000 victims”, while Argentina is elevated to an international model of reconciliation under civil law. The mental and judicial encirclement cuts in two the process of pacification which could be expected for a civil war that has left in the shadows 17,000 victims (dead and wounded) and more than 22,000 violent acts perpetrated by the struggling army (official figures show about 9,000 fatal victims at the hands of the military regime). The offensive is financially supported behind the scenes by British and American agencies. The insemination vector is based on an ambiguous local agent who has worked for the revolutionary formations, the military government and Her Majesty’s kingdom. It is relayed at the international level by European social democracy and is fluidly intertwined with the terms of globalist influence (human rights, gender, open society, etc.). Moreover, the permeability favored by this modeling of the democratic arena sculpts an environment favorable to the relaunch of an agenda of subversive struggle that extends to the entire subcontinent.

The second conflict dynamic, intimately linked to the previous sequence, originated in the open war in the South Atlantic in 1982. The military junta stirred up the nationalist idea of a bicontinental Argentina and a reconquest of the South Georgia and Malvinas Islands. At this point in the Cold War, London perceived that a military victory in a limited war could benefit it, both militarily and informationally. The US General Staff ensured its support for the military junta in the event of a conflict. The Argentine army, poorly prepared and unaware of the military balance of power, then engages headlong into the trap set by the Albion. The presence of an Argentine civilian ship on the island of South Georgia, authorized in advance by British Foreign Affairs, serves as a provocative incident. After a short episode of negotiation, the armed confrontation ended in the debacle of Buenos Aires.

Here too, the military confrontation, surrounded by information maneuvers, is one phase among other nested sequences whose strategic significance is just as insidious. The Argentine regime, discredited on several fronts, is disintegrating, while London activates within Argentine society a normative and cognitive containment that aims to permanently amputate its strategic capacity. It is made up of two lines: covert support for the subversive action of the revolutionary movement and support for the policy of human rights (as mentioned above), one of the common objectives of which is to neutralize the armed forces (prohibition by law for the armed forces to meddle in internal affairs), and the influence of international treaties to favor British interests in the South Atlantic, from which Chile will benefit.

Over the years and according to the ebb and flow created by the political crises, the neo-Marxist movement succeeded in reclaiming political space and developed an agenda that was strangely functional to the dismantling of the Argentine political-strategic apparatus, under the guise of human rights progressivism and sovereignist rhetoric, a process that took place under the relatively benevolent gaze of the North American power. For the time being, this contradiction has not been seriously shaken by any political formation. The economic gains of the former British empire on the maritime domain of the Malvinas Islands amount to a surface equivalent of the Argentine mainland, fishing and its illegal management in connivance with other foreign powers generating abundant dividends (more than 600 million dollars annually).

Argentine democracy is thus the theater of a new and another unarmed, internal, endogenous, often indecipherable and invisible war. This cannot be solved solely through the renunciations or capitulations shown by successive generations of political leaders in the face of the conflicting damage inherited from the past. This state of internal war, of a fundamentally offensive nature, results from the cognitive modeling of Argentine society and from a new clash between a new subversive matrix, an offshoot of the recycling of Marxist-Leninist inspiration, and a liberal republican matrix attached to the republican fabric of the country. This clash takes place in the arena of democracy itself and in its economic, information, normative and legal space.

The first matrix has gained a strategic advantage over the past three decades. It has effectively practiced the entryism of traditional political parties (right and left) and orchestrated an active information war, intertwined with judicial, economic or violent operations, taking advantage of the many conceptual contradictions and strategies of its liberal opponent. Its coming to power in 2002, first with Néstor Kirchner, instilled a dual state, bringing together the maintenance of an institutional façade and an anemic economy, with captive populations, a clientelist matrix in collusion with the illicit universe, which is now offered to the highest bidding powers (China).

There is therefore an objective convergence between the influence exerted by the United Kingdom and the United States and the neo-Marxist project currently at work in power. Both have eroded the strategic capacity of the Argentine state and alienated its politico-cultural engines. For some years now, this "clamp" dynamic has posed a new contradiction insofar as it is drawing Buenos Aires into Beijing's sphere of influence.

The result of this confrontation is a state of semi-dislocation of Argentine society, crossed right through by cultural, political and identity fault lines. Its irony is to have reached certain founding myths of the country and to have precisely disarmed a good number of the Argentine citizens themselves insofar as their mind, namely the perceptual landscape and the tools of strategic comprehension of reality, is one of the main targets of the confrontation. There is an obvious difficulty in grasping this context head-on, whatever the political colors, including of course for the parties bogged down in possibilism and moderation and even if there are initiatives seeking to break through this perceptual shielding. In this regard, the primary vote, in August 2023, of the young ultra-right outsider Javier Milei just indicates a call for transition.

The absence of concern from the academic and intellectual world about the features of this silent and systemic war indirectly contributes to perpetuating it. Yet similar cases exist, and knowledge is available on this less popular area of intangible wars. Are there other choices for the Sanmartinian nation than to learn to rearm itself and to build, from its own history and in the light of the best international experiences, a new art of combat?