La puissance américaine et la campagne présidentielle de 2004

La campagne des élections présidentielles américaines se dégrade et avec elle, le débat sur la puissance américaine. Une année auparavant, après la victoire éclair de la guerre en Irak qui a duré quatre semaines, un grand nombre de personnes pensaient que le problème était réglé. Mais les difficultés consécutives en Irak ainsi que dans les relations extérieures de l'Amérique sur un plan plus général ont placé ce sujet au coeur de la campagne présidentielle.

Il est difficile de s'en rappeler, mais dix ans plus tôt, la sagesse populaire, dans et hors des Etats-Unis, soutenait que l'Amérique était en déclin. En 1992, le vainqueur des élections primaires du New Hampshire affirmait que " la Guerre Froide [était] terminée et le Japon [avait] gagné ". Lorsque j'ai publié Bound to Lead en 1990, j'y prédisais la montée continue de la puissance américaine. Mais aujourd'hui, je considère comme tout aussi important de défier la nouvelle sagesse populaire qui veut que l'Amérique soit invincible et que le " nouvel unilatéralisme " guide la politique extérieure des Etats-Unis.

Après la chute de l'Union Soviétique, certains analystes ont décrit le monde qui en est résulté comme un monde unipolaire dans lequel peu de contraintes pesaient sur la puissance américaine. Cette analyse est fallacieuse. La puissance, dans une ère de l'information mondiale, est distribuée entre les pays selon un schéma qui s'apparente à celui d'un jeu d'échecs tridimensionnel complexe.

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