La política exterior estadounidense después de Iraq

¿Qué sigue después de Iraq? Si el “aumento”actual de las tropas que lleva a cabo el Presidente George W. Bush no logra producir un resultado que pueda llamarse “victoria”, ¿qué lecciones aprenderá Estados Unidos para su política exterior futura? ¿Se cerrará como lo hizo después de su derrota en Vietnam hace tres décadas? ¿Dejará de promover la democracia para concentrarse en una visión realista de sus intereses? Aunque el tema principal de las discusiones en Washington sigue siendo Iraq, varios observadores extranjeros están haciendo esas preguntas de largo plazo.

Los analistas y expertos se han equivocado frecuentemente en cuanto a la posición de Estados Unidos en el mundo. Por ejemplo, hace dos décadas, la opinión reinante era que los Estados Unidos estaban en decadencia. Una década después, con el fin de la Guerra Fría, la nueva opinión reinante consistía en que el mundo era una hegemonía estadounidense unipolar. Algunos expertos neoconservadores llegaron a la conclusión de que los Estados Unidos eran tan poderosos que podían decidir qué era lo que estaba bien y los demás tendrían que aceptarlo. Charles Krauthammer se refirió a este punto de vista, que tuvo una gran influencia sobre la administración Bush incluso antes de los ataques del 11 de septiembre de 2001, como “el nuevo unilateralismo”.

Pero el nuevo unilateralismo se basaba en una profunda incomprensión de la naturaleza del poder en la política mundial. El poder es la capacidad de obtener los resultados que uno quiere. El que contar con esos recursos produzca resultados depende del contexto. Por ejemplo, un ejército grande y moderno es un recurso poderoso si la guerra se lleva a cabo en el desierto, pero no si se da en un pantano –como lo descubrieron los Estados Unidos en Vietnam. En el pasado, se asumía que el poder militar predominaba en casi todas las cuestiones, pero en el mundo actual, los contextos del poder difieren mucho.

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