Mike Strasser/Flickr

Guia de um economista para a guerra e a paz

NOVA IORQUE – Os jornais de hoje estão cheios de títulos sobre histórias de conflitos: quer se trate da guerra civil da Síria, dos conflitos nas ruas da Ucrânia, do terrorismo na Nigéria, ou da repressão policial no Brasil, o imediatismo horripilante da violência é por demais evidente. Porém, embora os comentadores se dediquem ao debate de considerações geoestratégicas e de temas como a dissuasão, os conflitos étnicos e a situação dos cidadãos comuns apanhados no meio destes conflitos, raramente é discutido, de forma desapaixonada, outro aspecto vital do conflito - o seu custo económico.

A violência envolve custos financeiros significativos. Os custos globais envolvidos na contenção da violência e no tratamento das suas consequências atingiram o montante impressionante de 9,5 biliões de dólares (11% do PIB global) em 2012. Este valor representa mais do dobro da dimensão do sector agrícola a nível global e supera o valor das despesas totais em matéria de ajuda externa.

Tendo em conta estes montantes colossais, é fundamental que os responsáveis políticos analisem devidamente onde e como esse dinheiro é gasto, e estudem formas de reduzir o valor total. Infelizmente, estas questões raramente são analisadas com a devida seriedade. Esta situação deve-se, em grande medida, ao facto de as campanhas militares serem geralmente motivadas por preocupações de natureza geoestratégica e não de lógica financeira. Embora os opositores da guerra do Iraque possam acusar os Estados Unidos de cobiçar os campos de petróleo do país, a campanha foi, no mínimo, antieconómica. Também a Guerra do Vietname e outros conflitos constituíram verdadeiras catástrofes financeiras.

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