La guerra en contra de las leyes de la guerra

Es imposible sobreestimar el valor de las Convenciones de Ginebra de 1949 y los "Protocolos" adicionales de 1977. En simples términos humanos, millones de personas están hoy con vida porque esas normas permitieron el trabajo del Comité Internacional de la Cruz Roja (CICR). Juntos, las convenciones y los protocolos forman lo que erróneamente se ha dado en llamar el derecho humanitario internacional (DHI), pero que en realidad regula la guerra, buscando limitar sus efectos, sin importar las razones que hayan llevado a ella, y restringir los métodos empleados, incluso en las que se emprenden por una causa justa.

Por ejemplo, muchos Estados creen actualmente que la prohibición de atacar blancos civiles en forma deliberada es obligatoria, y actúan sobre esa base al limitar sus tácticas en el campo de batalla. Observemos el cambio en el comportamiento militar estadounidense, de la era de Vietnam, cuando los comandantes hablaban de destruir aldeas "a fin de salvarlas", a sus operaciones en Kosovo y Afganistán, cuando consultaban a abogados militares e incluso a funcionarios del CICR sobre qué objetivos podían bombardear.

Estos avances, que lograron un apoyo institucional adicional con el establecimiento de la Corte Penal Internacional en julio del año pasado, llevaron a muchos a creer que el triunfo del derecho internacional ya no es una esperanza utópica, sino una posibilidad práctica. La imagen sigue siendo atractiva, pero en su seducción moral se esconden peligros morales e intelectuales serios.

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