Réorienter le politique étrangère des Etats-Unis

NEW YORK – Il y a près de quarante ans, j’ai fait part, en entamant ma première année à l’université d’Oxford, de mon intérêt pour le Moyen-Orient. Je me suis entendu dire que cette partie du monde entrait dans la rubrique « Études orientales », et que je me verrais attribuer un professeur spécialiste dans ce domaine. Mais en arrivant dans le bureau de ce professeur pour notre première entrevue, j’ai découvert  que ses rayonnages étaient couverts de livres en chinois. Il était un spécialiste de ce que j’estimais, du moins à l’époque, ne pas être le bon Orient.

La politique étrangère américaine semble être victime d’une erreur inverse du même ordre. Les Etats-Unis sont maintenant préoccupés par le Moyen-Orient – d’une certaine manière, le mauvais Orient – et n’ont pas porté une attention suffisante à l’Asie de l’Est et au Pacifique, où sera écrite une grande partie de l’histoire du XXIe siècle.

La bonne nouvelle est que le centre d’intérêt des Etats-Unis est en train de changer. En fait, une transition de la politique étrangère américaine s’opère discrètement, une transition aussi importante qu’elle est tardive. Les Etats-Unis ont redécouvert l’Asie.

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