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Lezione dal passato

in Discussioni/Esteri

Anne Applebaum sugli attentati di Mumbai e sul rischio di reiterare schemi interpretativi che si sono già rivelati inadeguati a gestire gli eventi, di fronte alle insidie della guerra asimmetrica ed all’incapacità a comprendere un nemico proteiforme.

Un articolo tutto da leggere, per lucidità di analisi, di cui riportiamo solo uno stralcio:

Unlike terrorist groups of the past, many noted, it [al-Qaeda] operated not as a single, secretive organization but more like a global franchise. Organizations and individuals with various agendas could go to al-Qaeda for weapons and training. Afterward, they could, in effect, set up their own local branches, whose goals and methods might reflect the original, Saudi-inspired al-Qaeda ideology — or might not. Some predicted that al-Qaeda would even inspire copycat movements, much as McDonald’s inspired Burger King. Groups with no connection to Osama bin Laden — and no interest in being connected to him — might imitate some of his methods and tactics. By definition, the members of such groups would be civilians, sometimes living ordinary lives. They would not be combatants in the ordinary sense of the word. They would not wear uniforms, follow rules or organize themselves into anything resembling a traditional army. And they could not, therefore, be fought only with traditional military methods.

Too often over the past seven years, it has been easy to forget this initial analysis. After all, most of our major military efforts since 2001 have, at least early on, involved rather more concrete enemies, whom we have fought in specific places, using traditional means. The initial assault on Afghanistan was, in fact, a proxy war, not a postmodern, post-globalization game of tricks and mirrors. The same was true in Iraq: We overthrew a dictator, toppled his statues and set up an occupation regime.

Only later, in both places, did we find ourselves contending with groups invariably described as “shadowy,” with enemies who melted in and out of the civilian population, with terrorist cells that might be connected to al-Qaeda, to Pakistan, to Iran — or might not be. It took some time before we understood that our opponents in Iraq were not merely disgruntled Baathists but in fact encompassed a range of both Sunni and Shiite groups with different agendas.

Quando David Petraeus ha capito che, in Iraq, era possibile sfruttare a proprio vantaggio il settarismo ed il tribalismo, gli Stati Uniti sono riusciti a dare leva al proprio sforzo militare tradizionale ed a stabilizzare il quadro. Che è cosa assai diversa che “avere vinto”. Lo stesso schema dovrà essere applicato in Afghanistan, perché senza un rigoroso sforzo di comprensione delle parti in gioco, a livello locale e regionale, e delle loro “funzioni di utilità” (da utilizzare a nostro vantaggio, anche parlando con i nemici), il rischio è quello di continuare in uno stallo sanguinoso, frustrante e debilitante la posizione strategica americana nella regione. Magari ripetendo l’abituale mantra sugli islamisti che ci vogliono morti perché siamo ricchi, liberi e felici.

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