La Consecuencias Económicas de la Guerra con Iraq

La guerra con Iraq parece inevitable, con o sin el apoyo de la ONU. Los costos económicos de tal guerra podrían ser inmensos, tanto los desembolsos estadounidenses directos para la guerra y la postguerra, como los derrames indirectos en la economía mundial. Esta guerra tendría lugar en un trasfondo de frágiles condiciones económicas globales y exacerbaría tales debilidades, quizá arrastrando a la economía mundial hasta una recesión. El resultado económico de la guerra podría sin duda depender del contexto diplomático. Si Estados Unidos (EEUU) actúa solo, los posibles costos que enfrentaría la economía mundial debido a la guerra serían mayores que si cuenta con el apoyo de la ONU.

Los costos de la guerra deben sopesarse frente a los costos de acciones alternativas. Sin duda, el hecho de que la guerra tenga un alto costo no constituye un caso para la inactividad, especialmente cuando se enfrenta un serio riesgo de que Iraq obtenga, y eventualmente use, armas de destrucción masiva. Pero entrar en guerra cuando los medios diplomáticos podrían ser suficientes (las inspecciones de armamento, las amenazas de represión si se diese una agresión iraquí, la disposición de la ONU a reaccionar si las amenazas de Iraq se volviesen inminentes), resultaría en costos económicos (y de otros tipos) inmensos que sería posible evitar.

La visión tradicional del libro de texto de la guerra es que esta estimula la economía, por lo menos en el corto plazo. Pero esa simple visión de la economía en tiempos de guerra es demasiado estrecha como para describir los posibles efectos de una guerra iraquí. También debemos reconocer que una guerra con Iraq, incluso una limitada, podría resquebrajar profundamente el flujo internacional de bienes, servicios e inversiones del cual depende nuestra economía global en la actualidad.

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