Défense : quelle stratégie pour les USA face à la Chine ?

WASHINGTON, DC – Les tensions liées aux revendications territoriales de la Chine et de nombre de ses voisins sur des îlots en mer de Chine orientale et en mer de Chine méridionale persistent, aussi les USA doivent-ils préciser leur stratégie régionale. Ils doivent tout à la fois défendre leurs intérêts, respecter leurs engagements à l'égard de leurs alliés dans la région et éviter une confrontation contre-productive - voire un conflit.

Il leur sera difficile de maintenir ce cap, parce qu'il n'est pas évident de déterminer qui a raison dans ces conflits territoriaux et qu'ils n'ont pas l'intention d'imposer une solution. Ils doivent moderniser leur armée pour répondre à de nouveaux défis - notamment la montée en puissance de la Chine. Cette dernière développe des armes sophistiquées de haute précision pour augmenter sa capacité d'interdire l'accès à une zone donnée, la capacité A2AD (anti-access/area-denial). Les USA doivent donc envisager la manière de répondre à la vulnérabilité croissante de leurs bases militaires et de leurs forces navales dans la région.

Il n'existe pas de réponse simple. Ces défis nécessitent une approche toute en nuance - ce que nous expliquons dans notre nouveau livre, Strategic Reassurance and Resolve [Réassurance stratégique et résolution]. Notre approche est une adaptation de la vieille stratégie américaine consistant à "dialoguer tout en se protégeant". Dans ce cadre, tout en maintenant une forte capacité militaire en cas d'échec, les USA et leurs alliés emploient des instruments économiques, diplomatiques et parfois militaires pour inciter la Chine à se développer pacifiquement.

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