Estrategia - Relaciones Internacionales - Historia y Cultura de la Guerra - Hardware militar.

Strategy – International Affairs – History and culture of War – Military Hardware.

Nuestro lema: "Conocer para obrar"
Nuestra finalidad es promover el conocimiento y el debate de temas vinculados con el arte y la ciencia militar. La elección de los artículos busca reflejar todas las opiniones. Al margen de su atribución ideológica. A los efectos de promover el pensamiento crítico de los lectores.

Our maxim: “understanding before action”
Our purpose is to encourage the knowledge and the debate of issues connected with art and military science. Selection of articles attempts to reflect different opinions. Beyond any ideological ascription. In order to impulse critical thought amongst our readers.

miércoles, 20 de marzo de 2013

La retirada de EE.UU. y el desorden mundial.

American Withdrawal and Global Disorder.

As Obama ends U.S. security guarantees, nuclear weapons and violence will spread.
David Klein.
Since the days of the Monroe Doctrine, American foreign policy has rested on a global system of explicit or implicit commitments to use military power to guarantee the interests of the U.S. and its allies. The current administration has chosen to reduce, limit or underfund those commitments, and the results—which we may begin to see before President Obama's term ends—will be dangerous.
Some of America's commitments are enshrined in treaties, such as Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, which says of NATO's 28 member countries that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all." Other commitments are less formal. The U.S. has no defense treaty with Israel, but repeated presidential declarations, including those Mr. Obama will make during his trip this week, amount to nearly the same thing.

Some commitments are moral and humanitarian, such as the "responsibility to protect" that led American decision makers racked with guilt over the Rwanda massacres of 1994 to intervene in the Yugoslav civil war in 1998. All amount to a web of obligations that have been central to the American role in the world since World War II.
Over the past four years, the U.S. has scaled down its presence, ambitions and promises overseas. Mr. Obama has announced the end of the early-21st-century wars, though in truth the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are merely shifting to new, not necessarily less-vicious phases. He has refrained from issuing unambiguous threats to hostile states, such as Iran, that engage in bellicose behavior toward the U.S., and he has let his staff speak of "leading from behind" as a desirable approach to foreign policy.
He has reduced the U.S. military budget and is willing to cut more. His preferred use of force when dealing with terrorism is a protracted campaign of assassination by drone strike—which he says has succeeded fabulously, yet which curiously requires indefinite expansion.
In Mr. Obama's second term the limits of such withdrawal from conventional military commitments abroad will be tested. In East Asia, an assertive China has bullied the Philippines (with which the U.S. has a 61-year-old defense pact) over the Spratly islands, and China has pressed its claims on Japan (a 53-year-old defense pact) over the Senkaku Islands.
At stake are territorial waters and mineral resources—symbols of China's drive for hegemony and an outburst of national egotism. Yet when Shinzo Abe, the new prime minister of an understandably anxious Japan, traveled to Washington in February, he didn't get the unambiguous White House backing of Japan's sovereignty that an ally of long standing deserves and needs.
In Europe, an oil-rich Russia is rebuilding its conventional arsenal while modernizing (as have China and Pakistan) its nuclear arsenal. Russia has been menacing its East European neighbors, including those, like Poland, that have offered to host elements of a NATO missile-defense system to protect Europe.
In 2012, Russia's then-chief of general staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, declared: "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens." This would be the same Russia that has attempted to dismember its neighbor Georgia and now has a docile Russophile billionaire, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, to supplant the balky, independence-minded government loyal to President Mikhail Saakashvili.
In the Persian Gulf, American policy was laid down by Jimmy Carter in his 1980 State of the Union address with what became the Carter Doctrine: "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force." America's Gulf allies may not have treaties to rely upon—but they do have decades of promises and the evidence of two wars that the U.S. would stand by them.
Today they wait for the long-promised (by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush) nuclear disarmament of a revolutionary Iranian government that has been relentless in its efforts to intimidate and subvert Iran's neighbors. They may wait in vain.
Americans take for granted the world in which they grew up—a world in which, for better or worse, the U.S. was the ultimate security guarantor of scores of states, and in many ways the entire international system.
Today we are informed by many politicians and commentators that we are weary of those burdens—though what we should be weary of, given that our children aren't conscripted and our taxes aren't being raised in order to pay for those wars, is unclear. The truth is that defense spending at the rate of 4% of gross domestic product (less than that sustained with ease by Singapore) is eminently affordable.
The arguments against far-flung American strategic commitments take many forms. So-called foreign policy realists, particularly in the academic world, believe that the competing interests of states tend automatically toward balance and require no statesmanlike action by the U.S. To them, the old language of force in international politics has become as obsolete as that of the "code duello," which regulated individual honor fights through the early 19th century. We hear that international institutions and agreements can replace national strength. It is also said—covertly but significantly—that the U.S. is too dumb and inept to play the role of security guarantor.
Perhaps the clever political scientists, complacent humanists, Spenglerian declinists, right and left neo-isolationists, and simple doubters that the U.S. can do anything right are correct. Perhaps the president should concentrate on nation-building at home while pressing abroad only for climate-change agreements, nuclear disarmament and an unfettered right to pick off bad guys (including Americans) as he sees fit.
But if history is any guide, foreign policy as a political-science field experiment or what-me-worryism will yield some ugly results. Syria is a harbinger of things to come. In that case, the dislocation, torture and death have first afflicted the locals. But it will not end there, as incidents on Syria's borders and rumors of the movement of chemical weapons suggest.
A world in which the U.S. abnegates its leadership will be a world of unrestricted self-help in which China sets the rules of politics and trade in Asia, mayhem and chaos is the order of the day in the Middle East, and timidity and appeasement paralyze the free European states. A world, in short, where the strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must, and those with an option hurry up and get nuclear weapons.
Not a pleasant thought.

Mr. Cohen directs the Strategic Studies program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

No hay comentarios: