Recuerdo de la primera "guerra contra el terror"

El pasado mes de junio los dirigentes de la OTAN conmemoraron el 60º aniversario del día D, la invasión aliada de la Francia ocupada por los nazis. Este agosto, se les pasó la oportunidad de celebrar el aniversario del comienzo de la primera guerra mundial, causante de calamidades que resonaron hasta el final del siglo XX. Pero las enseñanzas que se desprenden de la Gran Guerra no son menos importantes en la actualidad, en particular para los Estados Unidos.

Las causas de la primera guerra mundial han desconcertado durante mucho tiempo al público y a los historiadores. Europa estaba en la cúspide de su poder económico en relación con el resto del mundo. La paz entre los países europeos más importantes había reinado más o menos continuamente durante decenios. Un auge tecnológico estaba revolucionando -mundializando, de hecho- la economía mundial. Para unos europeos cada vez más ricos, el verano de 1914 parecía una época pacífica y perezosa. Resultó ser su última paz real durante decenios.

Aquel mes de julio, unos terroristas asesinaron en Bosnia al archiduque Franz Ferdinand del imperio de Habsburgo. Austria respondió invadiendo Servia, vecina de Bosnia y potencia eslava "advenediza". Rusia se movilizó en apoyo de Servia, mientras que Alemania lanzó una guerra "preventiva" contra Francia y Rusia e invadió Francia pasando por Bélgica. Gran Bretaña acudió en defensa de Bélgica y Francia. Al final de septiembre, estaba en marcha una conflagración general.

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