November 26, 2022
Brazil will feel the impact of the new US National Security Strategy;  Read the article

Brazil will feel the impact of the new US National Security Strategy; Read the article

Two recent events have the potential to directly influence Brazilian interests, particularly in the military and commercial spheres – The Ukraine war and new National Security Strategy – Therefore, it should be analyzed by anyone who does business here in any part of the world, and especially by the winner of the presidential election.

From a military point of view, our relations have always been very close to the United States and European countries, both in terms of doctrine and equipment. Today, there are two types of re-equipment programs that our forces consider strategic, the submarine Navy and search for air forces.

evolution for Submarine Development Program (PROSUB) in partnership with France It was established in 2008, with the aim of transferring technology to manufacture conventional submarines. This is the basis for the national development of the nuclear-powered submarine, which is a fundamental deterrent system to our interests, the safety of the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone. In this regard, by the way, the cancellation of Australia’s purchase of French submarines last year, which was replaced by the American offer, deserves attention. And despite a very strong diplomatic reaction from Paris, the alternative continued to advance.

The photo shows two FAB aircraft in flight

The FX2 program, to re-equip and modernize the FAB – the Brazilian Air Force’s fleet of supersonic military aircraft, established in 2006, with the aim of joint development of technology and the acquisition of the fourth generation of multi-role aircraft. The choice of the Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripen was largely due to the fact that it is not from a member country NATO, the US-led military coalition, has no export restrictions because it does not contain US business regulations. But with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Sweden I decided to join NATO. NATO’s rules on technology transfer are also quite different from those followed by former neutral Sweden.

Apart from these two major projects, the Brazilian armed forces have already acquired equipment and systems and have an extensive exchange program with North American forces.

Still in the military realm, the lessons of the war in Ukraine should generate reforms in many of the world’s armed forces. Brazil cannot be left out of this list. Everyone noted the military catastrophe that was the Russian invasion and the main role played by Western equipment and advice so far in the survival of Ukraine, as well as in the subsequent counterattack. Therefore, it is necessary to realize that Western military technology has become an essential source of information for planning any modern armed force. To be without this connection would be doomed to prepare for a war of the past.

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On the other hand, the US government launched its National Security Strategy, which sets out its world view and the actions to be taken. The document says the world faces two challenges, the competition between great powers to shape a new international order and common transnational threats. And although it is said that one does not overlap with the other, it shows that the second needs cooperation, which becomes difficult in a time of great power rivalry.

From the point of view of the White House, this competition is characterized as between democracies and authoritarian regimes, with the United States leading the first group and leading China Second. To counter this reality, the strategy outlines three lines: 1) Investing in the source of power and influence in the United States. 2) building alliances to shape the international environment; 3) Strengthening the armed forces.

In order to compete with China, it will be necessary to invest in innovation and industrial capacity on US soil, critical sectors are: semiconductors, advanced computing, biotechnology, clean energy, and telecommunications. In addition, there is a defense of the revision of international trade rules, so the United States will seek to bring together allies and partners to be able to combat anti-competitive practices and ensure high labor and environmental standards.

By practicing “making friends”, i.e. searching for suppliers, friendly partners and, if possible, geographically closer, this new NSS will make Western companies re-evaluate their future investments, even in neighboring countries. Close diplomatic relations with authoritarian governments may hinder investment in some countries. So much so that on October 5, when President Biden announced the nationalization of semiconductor production as a matter of national security, President Biden was very vocal: The Javelin anti-tank missile, so effective against Russian tanks in Ukraine, has a Chinese chip and “this will be over.”

The example is good because it directly concerns us. on August 10 The Brazilian army has obtained permission to purchase 222 of these missilesIn addition to 33 launch command units and training missiles. The State Department approved the sale (worth $75 million), which has been frozen for several months but is still awaiting approval by the US Congress. And buying a spear is not an isolated case. As President Biden’s speech indicates, the US Congress and CEO notes the “choices” of any country to “make progress” in investments or sales of products, more or less sensitive, in a reconfigured post-Ukraine world.

Thus, the military and commercial spheres are the sectors most affected and will be rapidly affected by changes in international politics. Once again, whoever wins the presidential election will have to make decisions that affect them, because, depending on the adopted foreign policy stance, this could jeopardize Brazilian military and commercial interests.

* Gunter Rodzet and Leonardo Trevisan are professors of international relations at ESPM.