Asia después de la guerra del Afganistán

TOKIO – En julio se producirán dos hitos en las relaciones, a veces torturadas, entre los Estados Unidos y Asia. Uno es el comienzo del fin de los combates habidos durante casi un decenio en el Afganistán, la guerra más larga en la historia de los Estados Unidos, pues el Presidente Barack Obama ha anunciado la  retirada de 30.000 soldados del país el próximo verano. El otro es el 40º aniversario de la misión secreta de Henry Kissinger a Beijing, punto de inflexión en la Guerra Fría y primer paso por la vía de China hacia la modernización, pero al mismo tiempo enorme conmoción para Asia y, en particular, el Japón.

La retirada del Afganistán que se perfila recuerda, al menos a algunos asiáticos, un tercero y aún más traumático acontecimiento: la caótica salida de los Estados Unidos de Saigón en abril de 1975. Entonces aquel desastre pareció presagiar una retirada más amplia de los EE.UU. de Asia, pues un público americano, cansado de la guerra, deseaba las supuestas comodidades del aislacionismo. En la actualidad el nerviosismo de Asia se debe no sólo a que el aislacionismo parece estar ganando terreno una vez más en los Estados Unidos, sino también a que la estabilidad del Afganistán sigue siendo dudosa, mientras que el poder de China está en ascenso a falta de un consenso o una estructura institucional panasiáticos.

Los Estados Unidos se ensimismaron, en efecto, a raíz de la caída de Saigón y su desatención del Afganistán, a raíz de la retirada soviética en 1989, propició el caos y casi la ocupación del poder en el país por parte de Al Qaeda. Por eso, no es de extrañar que muchos dirigentes asiáticos se estén preguntando qué compromisos mantendrán los EE.UU., una vez que sus tropas abandonen el Afganistán. Tal vez sea igualmente importante que muchos en Asia estén debatiendo sobre si podría reequilibrarse la región, en caso de que los EE.UU. redujeran su presencia militar.

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