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Ancora strategie da ‘guerra fredda’ – Still ‘cold war’ strategies

Lo spirito della ‘guerra fredda’ vive ancora nei rapporti tra Washington e Pechino. Ne scrive James Curran per East Asia Forum (Biden’s strategy traces the Cold War’s mental map).

Una piccola voce come la nostra può solo limitarsi ad argomentare le ragioni del dialogo strategico, di una competizione cooperativa. Sembra un ossimoro ma la competizione cooperativa è la via d’uscita necessaria in una fase storica nella quale il confronto muscolare sembra vincere.

Curran richiama Walter Lippmann: Lippmann reminded Kennan that ‘the history of diplomacy is the history of relations among rival powers which did not enjoy political intimacy, and did not respond to appeals to common purposes’. Nevertheless, he added, ‘there have been settlements. Some of them did not last very long. Some of them did’. But ‘for a diplomat to think that rival and unfriendly powers cannot be brought to a settlement is to forget what diplomacy is all about’.

Il problema è tutto qui. Abbiamo bisogno di ricostruire tavoli di confronto-condivisione, uscendo dalla logica binaria ‘amico-nemico’ e ritrovandoci, creativamente realisti, dentro la crescente complessità del mondo e dei mondi. Certo la separazione, il decoupling non rappresenta una prospettiva sostenibile.

Il quadro planetario, che riguarda ogni persona e ogni nazione direttamente, presenta sfide come i cambiamenti climatici, le pandemie e le disuguaglianze (dentro la ‘rivoluzione tecnologica’, trasformante la realtà) che chiedono collaborazione strategica. Il che non significa negare il proprio interesse nazionale. Questo è ciò che viene richiesto alla politica, attraverso la diplomazia: ritrovare punti di dialogo sulle grandi questioni che, se non affrontate insieme, mettono in pericolo la sopravvivenza degli interessi nazionali, non solo la loro realizzazione.

English version

The spirit of the ‘cold war’ still lives on in relations between Washington and Beijing. James Curran writes about it for East Asia Forum (Biden’s strategy traces the Cold War’s mental map).

A small voice like ours can only argue the case for strategic dialogue, for cooperative competition. It sounds like an oxymoron but cooperative competition is the necessary way out in a historical phase in which muscular confrontation seems to be winning.

Curran writes: Lippmann reminded Kennan that ‘the history of diplomacy is the history of relations among rival powers which did not enjoy political intimacy, and did not respond to appeals to common purposes’. Nevertheless, he added, ‘there have been settlements. Some of them did not last very long. Some of them did’. But ‘for a diplomat to think that rival and unfriendly powers cannot be brought to a settlement is to forget what diplomacy is all about’.

The problem is all here. We need to reconstruct confrontation-sharing tables, moving away from the binary ‘friend-enemy’ logic and finding ourselves, creatively realists, within the growing complexity of the world and worlds. Certainly separation, decoupling is not a sustainable perspective.

The planetary picture, which affects every person and every nation directly, presents challenges such as climate change, pandemics and inequalities (within the reality-transforming ‘technological revolution’) that call for strategic collaboration. This does not mean denying one’s national interest. This is what is required of politics, through diplomacy: finding points of dialogue on the big issues that, if not addressed together, endanger the survival of national interests, not just their realisation.