Contraindre et convaincre, l’après Rumsfeld

Les élections de mi-mandat de novembre 2006 ont représenté le pire camouflet populaire subi à ce jour par le président américain George W. Bush sur le plan intérieur. Après la victoire des démocrates qui se sont emparés du Congrès et la publication de sondages à la sortie des urnes montrant que six électeurs sur dix s’opposaient à la guerre en Irak, George Bush s'est enfin résolu à se séparer de Donald Rumsfeld, son calamiteux secrétaire à la Défense. Bien que les Américains aient clairement fait comprendre leur opposition à la guerre en Irak, les sondages indiquent aussi qu’ils continuent à soutenir le président dans la lutte contre le terrorisme.

Malheureusement, les États-Unis ne sont pas en train de gagner la « guerre contre le terrorisme ». Une évaluation officielle compilée par les agences de renseignement américains (« National Intelligence Estimate ») confirme que le recrutement de nouveaux terroristes islamiques est plus rapide que leur élimination par les forces armées américaines. Bush ne se trompe pas en disant que al-Quaïda a été ébranlé, mais son attrait en tant que mouvement a été renforcé. Le cancer s’est métastasé.

Bush a également raison de dire que la lutte sera longue. Dans le passé, la majorité des mouvements terroristes transnationaux ont mis une génération avant de disparaître. Les États-Unis ont gagné la Guerre froide grâce à un mélange subtil de moyens coercitifs forts et d’idées séduisantes. Lorsque le Mur de Berlin est tombé, ce n’était pas au moyen de tirs d’armes lourdes, mais avec les marteaux et les bulldozers maniés par ceux et celles qui ne croyaient plus au communisme.

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