Primavera árabe, otoño occidental

TEL AVIV – La antigua vocación de lo que Rudyard Kipling llamó "La carga del hombre blanco" -la idea motriz detrás de la búsqueda por parte de Occidente de la hegemonía global desde los tiempos de la expansión imperial en el siglo XIX hasta la actual intervención patéticamente inconclusa en Libia- claramente se quedó sin aliento. Política y económicamente exhaustos, y atentos a electorados que claman por un giro de las prioridades hacia las preocupaciones internas urgentes, Europa y Estados Unidos ya no son capaces de imponer sus valores e intereses a través de intervenciones militares costosas en tierras lejanas.

El secretario de Defensa de Estados Unidos, Robert Gates, dijo algo obvio cuando recientemente fustigó a los miembros europeos de la OTAN por su tibia respuesta a las misiones de la alianza, y por sus deficientes capacidades militares. (A diez semanas de haberse iniciado los combates en Libia, los europeos ya se estaban quedando sin municiones). Gates advirtió que si la actitud de Europa hacia la OTAN no cambiaba, la Alianza se degeneraría hasta convertirse en una "irrelevancia militar colectiva".

La negativa de Europa a participar en misiones militares no debería tomarse como una revelación. El Viejo Continente ha estado inmerso desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial en un discurso "post-histórico" que descarta el uso de la fuerza como una manera de resolver conflictos, mucho menos de provocar un cambio de régimen. Y ahora está involucrado en una lucha fatídica para asegurar la propia existencia y la viabilidad de la Unión Europea. En consecuencia, Europa se está replegando en una perspectiva regional estrecha -suponiendo que Estados Unidos soportará la carga de las principales cuestiones globales.

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