Mike Strasser/Flickr

La Guida di un Economista su Guerra e Pace

NEW YORK – Storie di guerra riempiono le prime pagine dei giornali di oggi: che si tratti di guerra civile in Siria, di battaglie di strada in Ucraina, di terrorismo in Nigeria, o della repressione della polizia in Brasile, l'immediatezza raccapricciante di tale violenza è fin troppo evidente. Tuttavia, mentre i commentatori discutono di equilibri geostrategici, di deterrenza, di conflitti etnici, e della situazione della gente comune, vittima innocente, ci si dimentica di analizzare un altro aspetto vitale di qualsiasi conflitto – il suo costo economico.

La violenza porta con sé un prezzo da pagare molto alto. Il costo globale di contenere la violenzao di occuparsi delle sue conseguenze ha raggiunto l'incredibile cifra di 9500 miliardi dollari (11% del PIL mondiale) nel 2012. Questa cifra è più del doppio della dimensione del settore agricolo globale e, comparata ad essa, la spesa totale in aiuti esteri appare insignificante.

Date queste somme colossali, è essenziale che i responsabili politici analizzino correttamente dove e come questo denaro viene speso, e riflettano a modi per ridurre il costo totale. Purtroppo, queste domande sono raramente prese in seria considerazione. Per lo più, ciò è dovuto al fatto che le campagne militari di solito sono motivate da preoccupazioni geostrategiche, non da logiche finanziarie. Anche se gli oppositori della guerra in Iraq potrebbero accusare gli Stati Uniti di avere come obiettivo i campi di petrolio del paese, l’intervento militare è stato antieconomico, a dir poco. La guerra del Vietnam e altri conflitti sono stati anch’essi catastrofi finanziarie.

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