O Que Há de Errado com a Liderança Transformacional?

CAMBRIDGE - A campanha presidencial deste ano nos Estados Unidos tem sido marcada por apelos de pretensos adversários republicanos de Barack Obama a uma transformação radical da política externa americana. As campanhas são sempre mais radicais do que a realidade final, mas os países devem ter cuidado com os apelos à mudança transformacional. As coisas nem sempre resultam como planeado.

A política externa não desempenhou qualquer papel nas eleições presidenciais norte-americanas de 2000. Em 2001, George W. Bush iniciou o seu primeiro mandato com pouco interesse na política externa, mas aprovou objectivos transformacionais após os ataques terroristas de 11 de Setembro de 2001. Tal como Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt e Harry Truman antes dele, Bush voltou-se para a retórica da democracia para unir os seus seguidores num momento de crise.

Bill Clinton também tinha falado sobre o alargamento do papel dos direitos humanos e da democracia na política externa dos EUA, mas a maioria dos americanos na década de 1990 procurou a normalidade e um dividendo da paz pós-Guerra Fria, em vez de mudança. Contrariamente, a Estratégia de Segurança Nacional de 2002 de Bush, que passou a ser denominada Doutrina Bush, proclamava que os EUA iriam "identificar e eliminar terroristas, onde quer que se encontrem, juntamente com os regimes que os sustentam”. A solução para o problema do terrorismo era difundir a democracia em toda a parte.

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