Action unilatérale ou action multilatérale ?

La nouvelle doctrine du Président Bush en matière de stratégie indique que l'Amérique n'hésitera pas, tout en essayant d'obtenir le soutien de la communauté internationale pour sa politique, à agir seule, au besoin, pour exercer son droit de légitime défense. Nombreux sont leurs alliés qui affirment mal supporter cet excès d'actions unilatérales en matière de politique extérieure du gouvernement Bush, mais même le président Clinton soutenait que l'Amérique devait être prête à agir seule quand il n'y avait pas d'autre possibilité. Ainsi, le débat des bienfaits de l'action unilatérale par opposition aux actions multilatérales a été présenté de manière bien trop simpliste.

Les États-Unis doivent se plier aux lois internationales qui limitent la liberté d'action de l'Amérique, mais servent aussi leurs intérêts en faisant également plier d'autres à l'observation de ces lois et règlements. De plus, la possibilité pour les étrangers de faire entendre leur voix et influencer la politique américaine constitue aussi un encouragement important à faire partie d'une alliance avec les États-Unis. L'autonomie des États-Unis est peut-être réduite par leur appartenance à un réseau d'institutions multilatéral allant des Nations unies à l'Otan, mais si l'on considère cela sous l'éclairage de la négociation constitutionnelle, l'ingrédient multilatéral de la dominance actuelle de l'Amérique est un facteur clé de sa longévité, parce qu'il réduit les incitations à construire des alliances contre les États-Unis.

Le multilatéralisme, cependant, est une question de degré, et les accords multilatéraux ne sont pas tous bons. Comme d'autres pays, les États-Unis devraient utiliser parfois des tactiques unilatérales. Alors comment se fait ce choix ?

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