El regreso del realismo norteamericano

NUEVA YORK – Existen muchos debates recurrentes en la política exterior norteamericana -por ejemplo, aislacionismo vs. internacionalismo, y unilateralismo vs. multilateralismo-. Pero ningún debate es más persistente que el que se desarrolla entre quienes creen que el propósito principal de la política exterior norteamericana debería ser influir en el comportamiento externo de otros estados y quienes sostienen que debería ser forjar su naturaleza interna. 

Este debate entre ampquot;realistasampquot; e ampquot;idealistasampquot; es intenso y de larga data. Durante la Guerra Fría, estaban quienes sostenían que Estados Unidos debía intentar ampquot;replegarampquot; a la Unión Soviética, derribar al sistema comunista y reemplazarlo por un capitalismo democrático. Otros consideraban que esto era demasiado peligroso en una era definida por las armas nucleares. Estados Unidos optó en cambio por una política de contención y trabajó para limitar el alcance del poder y la influencia soviéticos. Y así resultó que, después de 40 años de contención, la Unión Soviética y su imperio se desintegraron, aunque este desenlace fue una consecuencia de la política norteamericana, no su objetivo principal.

George W. Bush fue el más reciente defensor ampquot;idealistaampquot; de la idea de hacer de la promoción de la democracia la principal prioridad de la política exterior norteamericana. Bush abrazó la llamada teoría de la ampquot;paz democráticaampquot;, que sostiene que las democracias no sólo traten mejor a sus propios ciudadanos, sino también actúen mejor con sus vecinos y otros.

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