Coûts et bénéfices des opérations de maintien de la paix

OXFORD – Les opérations de maintien de la paix dans les pays qui sortent d'un conflit sont chères et complexes et depuis la guerre en Irak les pays riches doutent de leur chance de réussite. Aussi, un examen impartial des interventions militaires s'avère nécessaire. Une nouvelle étude du Consensus de Copenhague évalue pour la toute première fois les rapports bénéfices/coûts des missions de maintien de la paix de l'ONU. Elle conclue que la puissance militaire est un outil important pour réduire les effusions de sang tout autour de la planète.

L'Irak est un mauvais exemple pour évaluer ces missions. Contrairement à la vaste majorité des conflits, la guerre civile qui déchire ce pays a été déclenchée par une guerre internationale, alors que le scénario le plus courant consiste en une flambée de violence politique dans un pays pauvre, à faible taux de croissance et marqué par de fortes divisions ethniques.

L'un des défis les plus urgents de notre génération est de trouver la bonne stratégie à l'égard de ces pays structurellement instables. Car il va sans doute y avoir une escalade de la violence. La moitié des guerres civiles sont des reprises de conflits antérieures et les récents accords de paix ont laissé beaucoup de pays dans une situation d'instabilité. Le boom des matières premières et la découverte de richesses minières dans des pays fragiles ont semé les graines de la discorde, alors que contrairement à ce que l'on aurait pu croire, l'accession à la démocratie par des pays pauvres augmente la probabilité statistique de violences politiques.

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