Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Les nouveaux dangers nucléaires

BERLIN – Ayant vu le jour en 1948, le risque d’une Troisième Guerre mondiale nucléaire a tangiblement fait partie de mon enfance. Cette menace – ou à tout le moins le risque d’une destruction totale de l’Allemagne de l’Est et de l’Ouest – a persisté jusqu’à la fin de la guerre froide et l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique.

Par la suite, le risque de voir des superpuissances nucléaires provoquer l’apocalypse a significativement diminué, même s’il n’a pas entièrement disparu. Aujourd’hui, le plus grand danger réside dans la présence d’un nombre croissant de pays moindre envergure, dirigés par des régimes dictatoriaux déterminés à acquérir l’arme atomique. En devenant des puissances nucléaires, ces régimes peuvent en effet espérer assurer leur propre survie, défendre leurs intérêts géopolitiques locaux ou régionaux, voire se lancer dans une aventure expansionniste.

Dans cet environnement nouveau, la « rationalité de la dissuasion » appliquée par les États-Unis et l’Union soviétique pendant la guerre froide tend à s’éroder. Désormais, si la prolifération nucléaire s’accentue, il faudra s’attendre à ce que diminue le seuil nécessaire à l’utilisation d’armes nucléaires.

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