Sentido y sinsentido de una fuerza desproporcionada

Mientras la guerra en el Líbano continúa, el término “fuerza desproporcionada” pasa de boca en boca como si detrás de él residiera algún principio cristalino de derecho internacional, que nos dice cuándo la fuerza es desproporcionada y cuándo es legal. Pero las muertes civiles como resultado de un combate militar no bastan para decir que se utilizó “fuerza desproporcionada”. Tampoco se ha aplicado ese criterio, sea cual fuere, si mueren más chicos en un lado que en el otro. Entonces, ¿qué significa, exactamente, “fuerza desproporcionada” y cuál es el lugar que ocupa en el derecho de la guerra?

Volvamos a lo elemental. En el derecho doméstico de la autodefensa, el uso de la fuerza siempre tiene que ser necesario y proporcional al interés que se protege. Un buen ejemplo es si el dueño de un negocio puede dispararle a los ladrones que se escapan con su mercadería. Si no hay ninguna otra manera de detener a los ladrones, el uso de la fuerza es necesario.

Pero, ¿es proporcionado? Eso depende de si el costo de dispararles a los ladrones tan claramente excede el valor de las mercaderías robadas como para que el dueño de la tienda no haga nada, al menos por el momento. El siempre puede recurrir a la policía y tiene la posibilidad de recuperar la mercadería. En otras palabras, la fuerza se vuelve desproporcionada cuando el costo de emplearla es demasiado alto.

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