Ucrania y el engaño de la disuasión nuclear

GINEBRA – Muchos están diciendo en estos días que Ucrania no estaría en el problema en el que está si después de la Guerra Fría hubiera conservado su importante arsenal atómico. Es un argumento con peligrosas implicaciones políticas, y no podemos dejarlo pasar sin cuestionarlo.

A pesar de su aparente lógica, este argumento no resiste el análisis cuando se lo contrasta con la evidencia empírica disponible sobre la conducta de los estados. Contra lo que muchos creen, las armas nucleares no son un elemento de disuasión eficaz, ya se trate de evitar guerras entre grandes potencias nucleares o de proteger de ataques convencionales a estados más débiles.

La tesis de que el equilibrio del terror nuclear entre Estados Unidos y la Unión Soviética fue lo que mantuvo la paz a lo largo de la Guerra Fría (y que después contribuyó en gran medida a evitar otros conflictos potenciales, entre la India y Pakistán, entre la India y China, entre China y Estados Unidos) no es tan fuerte como parece. No hay datos que demuestren que en algún momento de la Guerra Fría la Unión Soviética o Estados Unidos tuvieron intenciones de iniciar una guerra y se abstuvieron solamente por que el bando contrario tenía armas nucleares.

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