L’endiguement et non la conciliation à tout prix

L’Amérique et le monde entier s’inquiètent de savoir si l’administration Bush observera les recommandations du groupe d’étude sur l’Irak pour sortir ses troupes du pays. Si les dirigeants américains doivent rapidement trouver une réponse à cette question de premier ordre, il leur faut également anticiper la suite des événements. Il est essentiel d’élaborer un plan pour la période au lendemain de l’occupation de l’Irak et du Proche-Orient, reposant sur une politique de sécurité nationale viable au vingt‑et‑unième siècle. Cette stratégie est l’endiguement ( containment ).

Avant l’invasion de l’Irak, l’administration Bush rejetait cette politique, qu’elle prenait pour un vestige de la guerre froide. Les inspecteurs d’armes devaient se retirer et l’Amérique optait pour une guerre préventive. Bush passait pour celui qui intimide le nouvel Hitler, avec une détermination digne de Churchill, et l’on reprochait aux partisans de l’endiguement de préconiser des concessions déshonorantes. Mais nous savons désormais que cette politique de conciliation est efficace. L’Irak de Saddam Hussein n’était pas en mesure de menacer qui que ce soit, à plus forte raison les Etats-unis.

Ce n’était pas la première fois que l’endiguement – stratégie conçue par George Kennan, directeur du personnel de planification de la politique du département d’État sous le mandat de Harry Truman, pour répondre à la menace soviétique après la deuxième Guerre mondiale – était rejeté, au même titre que la conciliation. Lors de leur campagne pour les élections présidentielles de 1952, Dwight Eisenhower et son futur secrétaire d’État, John Foster Dulles, dénigrèrent la politique de conciliation, choisissant plutôt de faire battre en retraite les Soviétiques d’Europe orientale.

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