Asia ante un Oriente Próximo sin Estados Unidos

KUWAIT – Cuando se terminen de evaluar las consecuencias de la invasión de Irak liderada hace diez años por Estados Unidos, puede ser que el subsiguiente ascenso del Islam político en ese país (y en todo Oriente Próximo) parezca poca cosa en comparación con el cambio geoestratégico que en aquel momento nadie previó y que ahora está a la vista: Estados Unidos está cada vez más cerca de volverse energéticamente autosuficiente y puede hacer realidad una retirada estratégica de la región.

Es cierto que Oriente Próximo ya experimentó muchas veces la salida de alguna gran potencia, o de varias: con la desintegración del Imperio Otomano después de la Primera Guerra Mundial, con la posterior descomposición de los mandatos imperiales de Francia y Gran Bretaña después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y, más recientemente, con la casi total desaparición de la influencia rusa tras el colapso de la Unión Soviética en 1991. En cada ocasión, la situación política de la región cambió radicalmente en poco tiempo, especialmente en lo referido a las alianzas. Si en los años venideros Estados Unidos se desentendiera de Oriente Próximo, ¿serían inevitables rupturas similares?

A pesar de lo que muchos creen (que la política de Estados Unidos hacia Oriente Próximo se basa en su alianza con Israel), lo que en realidad motivó a aquel país a establecer una presencia militar dominante en la región después de 1945 fue su dependencia de la importación de petróleo. De hecho, hasta la Guerra de los Seis Días en junio de 1967, Estados Unidos no fue un gran proveedor de pertrechos militares a Israel. El propósito de la presencia militar estadounidense era, sobre todo, mantener el statu quo del mundo árabe y, con él, el flujo de energía procedente del Golfo Pérsico, para beneficio de Estados Unidos, de sus aliados y del conjunto de la economía global.

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