Por qué Estados Unidos debe volver a formar parte del mundo

Los ataques terroristas en Nueva York y Washington el 11 de septiembre de 2001 cambiaron profundamente a EEUU, generando un nuevo centro de gravedad en la política exterior. La nueva estrategia de seguridad nacional de la administración Bush, lanzada en septiembre de 2002, identifica al terrorismo, los estados canallas y las armas de destrucción masiva como las principales amenazas que enfrentan los EEUU. La mayoría de la gente está de acuerdo con este nuevo centro de la política exterior estadounidense, pero debate los medios por los cuales se lleva a cabo. ¿Es la amenaza tan grande que EEUU debe actuar por si solo, o debe hacerlo sólo con el apoyo de las instituciones internacionales, incluso si eso hace que la nación pierda libertad de iniciativa ? Los sucesos en Irak ilustran este debate, pero tienen raíces más profundas.

En su campaña electoral del 2000, George W. Bush dijo acerca de EEUU: "Si somos una nación arrogante, nos verán de esa manera; pero si somos una nación humilde, nos respetarán". Tenía razón, pero desgraciadamente muchos de los amigos de EEUU vieron que en sus primeros ocho meses, la administración Bush se preocupaba arrogantemente de los estrechos intereses estadounidenses, centrándose en el poderío militar y mostrándose despreciativa de los tratados, las normas y el multilateralismo. El perentorio anuncio de que el Protocolo de Kyoto sobre el cambio climático global estaba "muerto" contribuyó a una reacción de otros países que le costó a EEUU su asiento en la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la ONU.

Supuestamente, el 11 de septiembre cambió todo eso. El congreso finalmente pagó el dinero que EEUU le adeudaba a la ONU y el presidente volcó sus esfuerzos a construir una coalición contra el terrorismo. Pero el rápido éxito de la guerra en Afganistán hizo que algunos miembros de la administración y algunos comentaristas concluyeran que el unilateralismo funciona. El columnista Charles Krauthammer, por ejemplo, llama a un "nuevo multilateralismo" en que EEUU se rehúse a jugar el papel de "ciudadano internacional dócil" y busque lograr sus propios fines sin inhibiciones.

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