De l’utilité de la Guerre froide

NEW YORK – Les relations entre les pays occidentaux et la Russie ont rarement été aussi mauvaises qu’aujourd’hui, depuis l’intervention du président russe Vladimir Poutine en Ukraine et sa décision d’annexer la Crimée. Le président américain Barack Obama a toutefois tenu à assurer à la communauté internationale qu’il ne s’agissait pas du début d’une nouvelle Guerre froide.

Cela n’empêche pas certains Américains, qu’ils soient des libéraux bellicistes ou des conservateurs purs et durs, de comparer défavorablement la présidence d’Obama avec celles de présidents supposément plus coriaces, comme Dwight Eisenhower et Ronald Reagan. Qu’importe qu’Eisenhower n’ait rien fait pour empêcher les tanks russes d’écraser l’insurrection hongroise de 1956 ou que Reagan n’ait jamais eu l’intention de venir en aide aux militants de Solidarnosc lorsqu’ils défièrent le régime communiste au pouvoir en Pologne.

Sous bien des aspects, la Guerre froide facilita la tâche des présidents américains. Il n’existait alors que deux grandes puissances – l’émergence de la Chine n’est intervenue que récemment – et leurs sphères d’intérêt respectives étaient clairement définies. L’idéologie du pouvoir en Union soviétique était également claire : une version staliniste du communisme.

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