¿Una alternativa a la invasión de Irak?

Ahora que los equipos de inspectores de la ONU se encuentran en Irak, y al acercarse la fecha límite para que ese país declare todas sus armas de destrucción masiva y las instalaciones para producirlas, el mundo debe plantearse una difícil pregunta: ¿qué se debe hacer si Saddam Hussein no acata la resolución del Consejo de Seguridad acerca de esas armas? Existe la posibilidad de que el presidente Irakí obedezca, pero el Consejo prometió "consecuencias serias" si no lo hace. ¿Cuáles deben ser éstas? La experiencia nos indica que ni las presiones políticas ni las sanciones económicas hacen un daño suficiente a Saddam. Eso sólo lo conseguirán las acciones militares.

No obstante, la única opción militar que nos han presentado es una invasión para cambiar al régimen, es decir, la guerra total. Inicair una guerra siempre es un paso delicado, y los efectos nunca se pueden calcular con nitidez. En este caso existen cinco áreas clave de incertidumbre y riesgo.

Primero, la lucha misma puede no ser tan sencilla como algunos aseguran. Churchill escribió alguna vez: "Nunca jamás supongamos que una guerra será tranquila y fácil". Las fuerzas irakíes, expuestas al lavado de cerebros, y un régimen cómplice a todos niveles en los crímenes de Saddam, estarían peleando no para conservar una conquista (como sucedió en la Guerra del Golfo de 1991) sino para defender su tierra. Eso anuncia el espectro de la lucha en las calles de Bagdad, el uso desesperado de armas biológicas o químicas, un ataque para involucrar a Israel, numerosas muertes militares y civiles y una destrucción aún mayor de una sociedad ya devastada.

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