PANETTA AND AN OFFER THAT CANNOT BE REFUSED
27/04/2012 7 comentarios
US-BR Security/Defense: Q: Why does deep cooperation is so difficult or impossible? A: US does not need a strategic partner in the region such as Israel in the Middle East or India in Asia to contain China. US/BR: A deal that cannot be refused, Brazil gets more money to spend in social programs while the US takes care of defense. (Uziel Nogueira – 27/04/2012)
Mr. Leon Panetta comes to Brasilia and uses his recognized talent to convince Pres Dilma Rousseff to buy a product in which the US is first to none. Namely, security and defense during uncertain and dangerous times. The proposal is strait forward: the US will sell state of art weaponry to Brazil and provide a sea defense umbrella Brazil’s rich off shore oil rigs under construction in Atlantic coast. Brazil could become in South America, the new Japan of the 21st century. Economic prosperity under US military protection. Whether or not Pres Rousseff accepts the offer, remains to be seen. However, from Washington-White House standpoint, the timing is PERFECT for such proposal to fly. Dilma/PT has been making an incredible progress to end poverty and create a middle class. For the first time in its history, Brazil is poised to have a quality jump of progress and prosperity for all citizens. To continue heavy public spending in social programs and science and technology is FUNDAMENTAL to become a developed, prosperous and advanced economy. However, there is a clear trade off between social and military spending. The country cannot afford to do both simultaneously. Either you have more school/good teachers or more soldiers, tanks and fancy weaponry. Brazil is facing his moment of guns or butter question, referred by Paul Samuelson during the Vietnam war. The Obama administration is coming to help Dilma Rousseff and her ruling party, the Workers Party. To understand Obama’s gesture towards Dilma at this juncture, the political context in which Washington establishment operates is required. How Brazil is seen in Washington? The relations US-BR are viewed through the eyes of two schools of thoughts. The first one (the majority of think tanks in Washington DC), does not take Brazil seriously. No position papers are written and debated in those think tanks. Brazil is seen as a tropical country of catholic tradition and millions of poor illiterate people caused by a political system dominated by a small elite. In this school of thought, Brazil’s contribution to the world is commodities, exciting soccer players, god musicians and singers, lots of sun, fun and beautiful women.
The second school, off spring of Kennedy’s Alliance of Progress, takes a positive view of Brazil. There are few ones in Washington DC. They take an optimistic, albeit paternalistic, view of relations between the 2 countries. At the end of any of their debates, the unspoken message is that Uncle Sam knows better. For this school, Brazil is a natural partner and SHOULD be a strong allied of the US for two reasons. First, Brazil is NOT a security threat for the US and never will be. For example, the wish among members of Brazil’s defense establishment to acquire nuclear weapon’s capability is not taken seriously. Second, Brazil plays a fundamental role in providing the US with commodities. Recently, cash rich Brazilians are becoming important consumers for US manufactured products, advanced information and engineering services and tourists. Leftover rock bands of the 60s are making a bundle in live presentations in Brazil. A recent joke is that Jim Morrison will be resurrected from his grave in Paris and do a gig in Sao Paulo with (the still living members) of The Doors. In summary, the White House/State Department think that Brazil is ready for a new partnership. The pillar of this new relation is security and defense. The Department of Defense expects to play a major role in securing sea lanes for transportation of increasing energy supplies from the Southern Hemisphere. Oil exports from Brazil’s huge off shore deposits are seen as crucial for US energy security needs in the future. The geopolitical question posed is: Will Dilma Rousseff trade of the new acquired foreign policy independence for US defense security? the appeal of Obama’s offer for a PT leader is irresistible. Use your money for social spending to end poverty and fight crime. US will take care of external defense. A win-win situation for both parties. Will it fly?
Panetta Urges Brazil to Buy Fighter Jets From Boeing: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/world/americas/panetta-presses-brazil-to-buy-boeing-fighters.html?_r=1&emc=eta1