El dilema de la intervención

CAMBRIDGE.– ¿Cuándo deben intervenir militarmente los estados para detener atrocidades en otros países? La pregunta es de larga data y ha recorrido un largo camino. De hecho, ahora está de visita por Siria.

En 1904, el presidente estadounidense Theodore Roosevelt sostuvo que «en ocasiones, algunos crímenes se cometen en escalas tan vastas y con horrores tan peculiares» que es necesaria una intervención armada. Un siglo antes, en 1821, mientras los europeos y estadounidenses debatían sobre la necesidad de intervenir en la lucha por la independencia griega, el presidente John Quincy Adams previno a sus compatriotas estadounidenses contra «ir al exterior a buscar monstruos que destruir».

Más recientemente, luego de un genocidio que costó casi 800 000 vidas en Ruanda en 1994, y la masacre de hombres y niños bosnios en Srebrenica, en 1995, muchas personas prometieron que ese tipo de atrocidades nunca debería volver a ocurrir. Cuando Slobodan Milošević comenzó una limpieza étnica de gran escala en Kosovo, en 1999, el Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas adoptó una resolución reconociendo la catástrofe humanitaria, pero no logró consensuar una segunda resolución para intervenir, dada la amenaza del veto ruso. En su lugar, los países de la OTAN bombardearon Serbia, en un esfuerzo que muchos observadores consideraron legítimo, pero ilegal.

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