Le Gouffre des puissances

Il n'est pas surprenant de constater que le voyage en Europe du président Bush ait été accueilli par des manifestations de Berlin à Rome. Compte tenu des différences qui s'installent maintenant entre les États-Unis et leurs alliés, différences qu'on ne peut pas encore qualifier de schisme, il est plutôt surprenant de voir que les rencontres au sommet entre M. Bush et les dirigeants européens donnent lieu à si peu de frictions. Ces frictions portent seulement sur la question israélienne, les taxes douanières américaines en matière d'importation d'acier européen ou l'éventualité des peines capitales que les tribunaux américains appliqueraient aux ressortissants européens condamnés pour terrorisme. Elles incarnent toujours plus leur vision fondamentalement différente du nouvel ordre mondial.

Lors de la Guerre froide, quand l'Ouest craignait de se voir attaqué par les forces soviétiques, l'Europe et les États-Unis s'allièrent au sein de l'Otan pour faire face à cette menace. Aujourd'hui que les principaux motifs de crainte des pays occidentaux se sont déplacés vers l'instabilité politique mondiale et le terrorisme, les alliés membres de l'Otan se retrouvent bien moins unis que par le passé sur les réponses à y apporter.

Il s'agit là en partie de la question des divergences transatlantiques sur l'importance des dépenses militaires et de ce fait sur les capacités militaires. Les Etats-Unis dépensent bien plus en matière de défense que leurs alliés européens, et ainsi leur capacité militaire diffère en qualité aussi bien qu'en quantité.

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