¿Las tropas deberían regresar a casa ahora?

El anuncio del pasado fin de semana de que los legisladores iraquíes finalmente formaron un gobierno de unidad es una noticia bienvenida, tanto para Irak como para George W. Bush y Tony Blair. Los gobiernos de Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña, cada vez menos populares en sus países, necesitaban desesperadamente alguna evidencia tangible de progreso para calmar a sus críticos internos y empezar a hablar abiertamente de una estrategia de salida. Sin embargo, los mayores desafíos de Irak están por delante. Si Bush y Blair declaran la victoria antes de que hayan comenzado las verdaderas batallas, socavarán el proceso con el que ambos se comprometieron tanto y a tan alto costo.

Durante semanas, Bush esperó un desarrollo positivo que le permitiera sugerir que está en condiciones de reducir los niveles de tropas en Irak de 133.000 a 100.000 para fines de 2006. Blair, todavía herido por la derrota de su Partido Laborista en las elecciones locales a principios de mayo, también recibió con beneplácito la buena noticia proveniente de Irak. Durante una sorpresiva visita triunfal a Bagdad el 22 de mayo, dijo que esperaba que las fuerzas iraquíes asumieran las responsabilidad de la “seguridad territorial” en gran parte del país para fin de año. “Es la violencia lo que nos retiene aquí”, dijo. “Es la paz lo que nos permite irnos”.

El optimismo es prematuro. La formación de un gobierno de unidad no es más que el primero de muchos obstáculos que el nuevo gobierno de Irak debe erradicar si pretende construir una paz duradera. Su primera tarea consistirá en eliminar las cláusulas de la constitución iraquí que enfrentan entre sí a los sunitas, los chiítas y los kurdos de Irak. Según la actual ley iraquí, la comisión parlamentaria que se encarga de hacer estos cambios constitucionales tiene cuatro meses para completar su tarea. El reloj de los cuatro meses comenzó a correr el 3 de mayo, después de la primera reunión del nuevo parlamento iraquí.

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