El espejismo de los “empleos para la paz” en Irak

En momentos que las primeras avanzadas del “aumento” de tropas estadounidenses decidido por el Presidente Bush se adentran en Irak, adquiere relevancia otra pregunta acerca de la nueva política del presidente de EE.UU. para evitar una guerra civil abierta. ¿Puede el financiamiento estadounidense para reabrir empresas estatales iraquíes hacer que los jóvenes abandonen la insurgencia y las milicias sectarias? La idea suena lógica: un hombre con un buen trabajo que le permite construir una buena vida no querrá luchar contra los estadounidenses o sus connacionales iraquíes, ¿no es así?

Lamentablemente, es improbable que esa estrategia basada en la creación de empleos logre reducir la violencia. Las empresas estatales iraquíes fueron la piedra angular de la política económica de Saddam Hussein. Sin embargo, impulsadas por contratos militares, estas compañías estatales nunca estuvieron bien gestionadas ni fueron eficientes, tenían un gran exceso de personal y producían poco, en una imagen similar a las fallidas empresas estatales de la antigua Unión Soviética.

Más aún, aparte de los sectores petrolero y eléctrico, las empresas estatales en Irak nunca han sido empleadores de importancia. Por ejemplo, las cerca de 180 empresas del Ministerio de Industria y Minerales, que controla todas las compañías manufactureras estatales, nunca dieron empleo a mucho más de 100.000 personas en una nación de unos 27 millones de habitantes.

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