La mort de l’OTAN

LONDRES – L’OTAN, dont les ministres des Affaires étrangères se rencontreront la semaine prochaine, est en train de s’éteindre. Certes, tout ce qui vit meurt un jour. L’OTAN approchant de son 60e anniversaire (au printemps prochain), il ne semble pas urgent d'écrire sa notice nécrologique : à 60 ans, on peut raisonnablement imaginer avoir dix années devant soi, voire vingt ou même trente, de vie active et productive. Mais peut-être est-il temps de réfléchir discrètement au fait que « le vieil homme ne sera pas toujours là ».

Les institutions humaines, tout comme les êtres humains, peuvent s’effondrer avec une rapidité surprenante dès qu’elles cessent d’être utiles. La dissolution spectaculaire de l’Union soviétique nous rappelle ce qui peut arriver aux organisations lorsque les doutes s’installent sur leur capacité à servir des intérêts réels ou ceux de leurs apparatchiks – et comment ces doutes peuvent soudainement s’intensifier quand elles tentent de devenir ce qu’elles ne sont pas.

Bien entendu, l’OTAN a fait preuve d’une ténacité remarquable. Elle aurait dû disparaître au moment où l’Union soviétique s’est effondrée et où le Pacte de Varsovie s’est évaporé, car elle avait rempli sa mission. Mais survinrent ensuite les crises des Balkans dans les années 90, qui ont culminé lorsqu’on s’est rendu compte que seul le pouvoir militaire américain pouvait mettre un terme à la purification ethnique du Kosovo orchestrée par le président serbe Slobodan Milosevic ; puis les attentats terroristes du 11 septembre 2001, qui ont mis en évidence le choix entre sortir de la zone de compétence ou cesser les activités (« out of area or out of business »). L’OTAN est donc toujours en activité, et en Afghanistan.

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