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.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.