miércoles, febrero 06, 2008

New Europe, Old Russia

Otro al que vais a ver mucho por aqui es a Robert Kagan. En esta ocasión escribe sobre la vuelta de Rusia a la primera plana de la geopolítica internacional y advierte a Europa de que tiene que estar preparada para afrontar conflictos de esos que no se solucionan con 'soft power':

It wasn't a problem when Russia was weak and poor and eager to integrate itself into the West. But Russia is back on its feet, rich and resentful, seeking not to join Europe but to take a special path back to great-power status. Putin laments the fall of the Soviet Union and seeks to regain predominant influence in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe, as well as over Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and the rest of what Russians call their "near abroad." But the former are now formally part of Europe, and the latter are what Europeans call their "new neighborhood." And so the nations of the European Union find themselves embroiled in a very 19th-century confrontation. After a decade of voluntary retreat, Russia now pushes back against Europe's powerful attractive force, using traditional levers of power. It has imposed a total embargo on trade with Georgia. It has episodically denied oil supplies to Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus; cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and Moldova; and punished Estonia with a suspension of rail traffic and a cyber-attack on its government's computer system in a dispute over a Soviet war memorial. It supports separatist movements in Georgia and keeps its own armed forces on Georgian territory and in Moldova. It has effectively pulled out of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, freeing it to deploy forces wherever necessary on its western flank.
Polls show Europeans increasingly take a dim view of their large neighbor. French President Nicolas Sarkozy observed last year that "Russia is imposing its return on the world scene by playing its assets, notably oil and gas, with a certain brutality." Even the Finnish defense minister worries that "military force" has once again become a "key element" in how Russia "conducts its international relations."
But Europe may be institutionally and temperamentally ill-equipped to respond. Can it bring a knife to a knife fight?
A día de hoy, no. Si el día de mañana Europa quiere tener voz debe dejar atrás el Pacto Briand - Kellogg y el Espíritu de Locarno y abrazar la Realpolitik y el 'hard power'. Aunque no parece que nuestros políticos tengan intención alguna de seguir ese camino.

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