Iraqi woman looking downtrodden

Plus de guerre que de paix

WINCHESTER – « Seuls les morts ont vu la fin de la guerre. » L’apophtegme de George Santayana semble particulièrement convenir à la période que nous vivons, où le monde arabe, de la Syrie à l’Irak et du Yémen à la Libye n’est plus qu’un chaudron de violence, où l’Afghanistan s’enlise dans la lutte contre les talibans, où des pans entiers de l’Afrique semblent voués à la malédiction d’affrontements sanguinaires, qui recoupent souvent des divisions ethniques ou religieuses, pour le contrôle des ressources minières. La tranquillité européenne elle-même est en péril, témoin le conflit séparatiste en Ukraine, qui, avant le cessez-le-feu actuellement en vigueur, a fait six mille morts.

Comment expliquer ce recours au conflit armé pour résoudre les problèmes du monde ? Il n’y a pas si longtemps, la tendance était à la paix, pas à la guerre. En 1989, avec l’effondrement du communisme, Francis Fukuyama annonçait la « fin de l’histoire », tandis que deux ans plus tard, le président George Bush père saluait le « nouvel ordre mondial » de la coopération entre grandes puissances.

À l’époque, ils avaient raison. La Seconde Guerre mondiale et ses 55 millions de morts avaient marqué le point culminant de la barbarie collective de l’humanité. Mais de 1950 à 1989 – de la guerre de Corée à la fin de la guerre froide, en passant par la guerre du Viêt-nam –, les conflits armés causèrent en moyenne 180 000 morts par an. Dans les années quatre-vingt-dix, leur nombre est tombé à 100 000. Et dans la première décennie de ce siècle, il a encore diminué, pour atteindre une moyenne de 55 000 morts par an – le taux le plus bas enregistré sur une décennie au cours des cent dernières années, qui représente un peu plus de 1 000 morts annuels pour un « conflit armé moyen ».

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