Les Etats sont perdus quand ils ne savent plus distinguer les bons des mauvais hommes. Antisthène
Les Hautes Parties contractantes déclarent solennellement au nom de leurs peuples respectifs qu’elles condamnent le recours à la guerre pour le règlement des différends internationaux, et y renoncent en tant qu’instrument de la politique nationale dans leurs relations mutuelles.
Les Hautes Parties contractantes reconnaissent que le règlement ou la solution de tous les différends ou conflits, de quelque nature ou de quelque origine qu’ils puissent être, qui pourront surgir entre elles, ne devra jamais être recherché que par des moyens pacifiques.
Le Président du Reich allemand, le Président des Etats-Unis d’Amérique, Sa Majesté le Roi des Belges, le Président de la République française, Sa Majesté le Roi de Grande-Bretagne, d’Irlande et des territoires britanniques au-delà des mers, Empereur des Indes, Sa Majesté le Roi d’Italie, Sa Majesté l’Empereur du Japon, le Président de la République de Pologne, le Président de la République tchécoslovaque (Pacte Kellog-Briand , article I et II, Paris, le 27 août 1928)
Aucune nation ne peut ni ne doit tenter d’en dominer une autre. Aucun ordre mondial qui place un pays ou un groupe de pays au-dessus d’un autre ne réussira. Aucun équilibre des forces entre les pays ne tiendra. Barack Obama
Pas de paix sans hégémonie et équilibre des forces. Henry Kissinger
Plus Obama brouille la différence entre alliés et ennemis, plus il démoralise les premiers et encourage les derniers. Victor Davis Hanson
Conseil de sécurité, G-20, alliance occidentale, OTAN, alliance avec le Japon et la Corée du sud, Union européenne?
Omaha beach, Iwo Jima, Buchenwald, Europe de la Guerre froide, Irak, Corée, tremblements de terre, tsunamis, famines, Désert du Sinai, voies maritimes du Pacifique et de l’Atlantique?
Au lendemain, après Carter en 2002 et Gore en 2007, d’une nouvelle attribution – ô combien prématurée après seulement 9 mois de mandat! – du prix Nobel de la paix à un Américain au seul titre de son opposition à l’ancien président George W. Bush …
Et, après le renvoi d’un premier commandant du théâtre afghan, les remises en cause de plus en plus ouvertes au sein même de l’Administration au pouvoir, de la stratégie pour une guerre censée être celle de la nécessité …
Retour, avec l’éditorialiste Charles Krauthammer et le politologue Robert Kaplan, sur l’incroyable naïveté de la nouvelle Doctrine Obama.
Qui, dans son obsession du multilatéralisme et de l’auto-flagellation en vient à condamner, au mépris de toute l’histoire américaine comme mondiale récente et contre tout principe de réalité, non seulement le principe de la dissuasion nucléaire mais tout rapport de force et toute espèce d’alliances.
Oubliant même, comme est obligé de le rappeler l’éditorialiste du NYT Thomas Friedman, qu’il n’y a en fait « pas de paix sans soldats de la paix » …
Charles Krauthammer on the loss of American hegemony.
The Wall Street Journal
October 11, 2009
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer in the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lecture, delivered last week in New York:
Henry Kissinger once noted that the only way to achieve peace is through hegemony or balance of power.
Well, hegemony is out. As Obama said in his General Assembly address, « No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. » (The « can » in that declaration is priceless.) And if hegemony is out, so is balance of power: « No balance of power among nations will hold. »
The president then denounced the idea of elevating any group of nations above others—which takes care, I suppose, of the Security Council, the G-20, and the Western alliance. And just to make the point unmistakable, he denounced « alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War » as « making no sense in an interconnected world. »
What does that say about NATO? Of our alliances with Japan and South Korea? Or even of the European Union?
Surely this is nonsense. But it is not harmless nonsense. It’s nonsense with a point. It reflects a fundamental view that the only legitimate authority in the international system is that which emanates from the « community of nations » as a whole. Which means, I suppose, acting through its most universal organs such as, again I suppose, the U.N. and its various agencies. . . .
To be sure, the idea of the international community acting through the U.N.—a fiction and a farce respectively—as enforcer of norms and maintainer of stability is absurd. . . .
But whatever bizarre form of multilateral or universal structures are envisioned for keeping world order, certainly hegemony—and specifically American hegemony—is to be retired.
Obama needs to get behind his chosen general and put the spectacle of indecisiveness behind him. Otherwise, in the coming months, the Democrats may be seen as having lost a war. And if that happens, not even the Nobel Peace Prize will rescue his reputation.
Time for Decisiveness on Afghanistan
Robert D. Kaplan
October 12, 2009
When it comes to foreign policy, Republicans and Democrats are each suspect in their own way. Republicans used to be the party of competence in world affairs. They lost that aura during President George W. Bush’s first six years in office, when he mismanaged the wars both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The Democrats, for their part, are often accused of being wobbly on national security, lacking both toughness and gumption. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama’s recent handling of the war in Afghanistan plays to those charges. Being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize will only intensify the perception that he is a weak war leader.
It’s perfectly legitimate for Obama to review Afghanistan strategy and troop numbers. But by calling into question the very strategy that he put into place earlier in the year, when he called Afghanistan the « necessary war, » and promised to properly resource it, Obama is courting charges from the right that he is another ineffectual Jimmy Carter—that other Nobel Peace Prize winner.
But what Obama’s second-guessing of his own strategy in fact suggests is poor policy coordination at the White House. There’s more than a passing similarity between the White House’s hiccups on health care and its confusion on Afghanistan. In each case, the executive branch went forward on an issue without being fully staffed out, or in agreement on the specifics.
Furthermore, in this highly networked media age you only get to fire a general once. It’s not like the Civil War era, when Abraham Lincoln could quietly relieve one commander after another until he found Ulysses Grant. Last May, the Obama Administration fired Army Gen. David McKiernan, then the commander in Afghanistan, in a particularly humiliating manner. McKiernan wasn’t a failed general; he simply wasn’t the best man for the job. Yet he’ll forever be known as the first wartime commander to have been relieved of his duties since President Harry Truman fired Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Korea. The Administration chose Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal to take his place. It was during the selection process for the new general that a policy review would have made sense—though only behind closed doors. And the time to roll out a new or adjusted strategy would have been when McChrystal’s selection was announced, so that he could become the face of the new policy.
The Administration had many months, beginning the moment Obama was elected, to recalibrate Afghan strategy. Yet it’s now in the position of publicly questioning the fundamental wisdom of the general it has chosen. The position Obama’s now in is similar to that of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld some years back—appearing not to be listening to his generals. If the president doesn’t agree with his field commander, that’s fine. Just don’t make a public spectacle of it.
Even if Obama does end up making the correct decision on Afghanistan strategy (by which I mean adding troops, since counterinsurgency is manpower-intensive), the public agony over his deliberations may already have done incalculable damage. The Afghan people have survived three decades of war by hedging their bets. Now, watching a young and inexperienced American president appear to waiver on his commitment to their country, they are deciding, at the level of both the individual and the mass, whether to make their peace with the Taliban—even as the Taliban itself can only take solace and encouragement from Obama’s public agonizing. Meanwhile, fundamentalist elements of the Pakistani military, opposed to the recent crackdown against local Taliban, are also taking heart from developments in Washington. This is how coups and revolutions get started, by the middle ranks sensing weakness in foreign support for their superiors.
Obama’s wobbliness also has a corrosive effect on the Indians and the Iranians. India desperately needs a relatively secular Afghan regime in place to bolster Hindu India’s geopolitical position against radical Islamdom, and while the country enjoyed an excellent relationship with bush, Obama’s dithering is making it nervous. And Iran, in observing Washington’s indecision, can only feel more secure in its creeping economic annexation of western Afghanistan. So, too, other allies far and wide—from the Middle East to East Asia, and Israel to Japan—will start to make decisions based on their understanding that Washington under Obama may not have their backs in a crisis. Again, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama only plays to such fears.
What to do? Obama needs to get behind his chosen general as soon as possible and put this spectacle of indecisiveness behind him. Gen. McChrystal must become the face of a policy that is supported at every level of the Administration, just as Army Gen. David Petraeus was the face of the surge in Iraq during Bush’s last two years of his presidency. Obama must capture the toughness and competence that Bush displayed as a war leader at the end of his term. Otherwise, in the coming months, the Democrats may be seen as having lost a war. And if that happens, not even the Nobel Peace Prize will rescue Obama’s reputation.
The Peace (Keepers) Prize
Thomas L. Friedman
October 11, 200
I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi fascism. I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific to free East Asia from Japanese tyranny in the Second World War.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American airmen who in June 1948 broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin with an airlift of food and fuel so that West Berliners could continue to live free. I will accept this award on behalf of the tens of thousands of American soldiers who protected Europe from Communist dictatorship throughout the 50 years of the cold war.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who stand guard today at outposts in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan to give that country, and particularly its women and girls, a chance to live a decent life free from the Taliban’s religious totalitarianism.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the American men and women who are still on patrol today in Iraq, helping to protect Baghdad’s fledgling government as it tries to organize the rarest of things in that country and that region — another free and fair election.
“I will accept this award on behalf of the thousands of American soldiers who today help protect a free and Democratic South Korea from an unfree and Communist North Korea.
“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American men and women soldiers who have gone on repeated humanitarian rescue missions after earthquakes and floods from the mountains of Pakistan to the coasts of Indonesia. I will accept this award on behalf of American soldiers who serve in the peacekeeping force in the Sinai desert that has kept relations between Egypt and Israel stable ever since the Camp David treaty was signed.
“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American airmen and sailors today who keep the sea lanes open and free in the Pacific and Atlantic so world trade can flow unhindered between nations.
“Finally, I will accept this award on behalf of my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived at Normandy six weeks after D-Day, and on behalf of my great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who was among those soldiers who liberated part of the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald.
“Members of the Nobel committee, I accept this award on behalf of all these American men and women soldiers, past and present, because I know — and I want you to know — that there is no peace without peacekeepers.
“Until the words of Isaiah are made true and lasting — and nations never again lift up swords against nations and never learn war anymore — we will need peacekeepers. Lord knows, ours are not perfect, and I have already moved to remedy inexcusable excesses we’ve perpetrated in the war on terrorism.
“But have no doubt, those are the exception. If you want to see the true essence of America, visit any U.S. military outpost in Iraq or Afghanistan. You will meet young men and women of every race and religion who work together as one, far from their families, motivated chiefly by their mission to keep the peace and expand the borders of freedom.
“So for all these reasons — and so you understand that I will never hesitate to call on American soldiers where necessary to take the field against the enemies of peace, tolerance and liberty — I accept this peace prize on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. military: the world’s most important peacekeepers.”