Tim Brinton

Le pouvoir militaire est-il obsolète?

CAMBRIDGE – Le pouvoir militaire perdra-t-il de son ascendance dans les années à venir ? Il est vrai que le nombre de guerres à grande échelle entre états est en diminution, et la probabilité de conflits entres les démocraties avancées et sur de nombreux sujets s’affaiblit. Mais, ainsi que l’exprimait Barack Obama alors qu’il acceptait le Prix Nobel de la Paix en 2009, « nous devons finir par accepter la dure vérité que nous ne parviendrons pas à éradiquer les conflits violents de notre vivant. Il y aura des moments lorsque les nations, individuellement ou de concert, considèreront que l’utilisation de la force sera non seulement nécessaire mais moralement justifiée. »

Lorsque les gens parlent du pouvoir militaire, ils pensent le plus souvent en termes des ressources qui sous-tendent la force coercitive qui pousse à combattre ou à menacer de combattre, c’est-à-dire les soldats, les tanks, les avions, les navires ou autres. Au final, bon an, mal an, ces ressources militaires comptent. On se souvient de la fameuse phrase de Napoléon : « Dieu est du côté des gros bataillons, » et Mao Tsé Toung soutenait que le pouvoir vient du canon du fusil.

Dans le monde actuel, cependant, les ressources militaires ne se résument pas aux fusils et aux bataillons, pas plus que la manière forte ne se résume à combattre ou à menacer de combattre. Le pouvoir militaire est aussi utilisé pour apporter protection aux alliés et assistance aux amis. De telles utilisations non coercitives des ressources militaires peuvent encourager la puissance douce pour définir des ordres du jour, persuader d’autres gouvernements et susciter des soutiens dans les relations internationales.

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