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Brazil in Search for False Enemies

By Lucas Leiroz | February 25, 2020

Recently, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense published a dossier on possible threats to national security over the next two decades. The document, however, is far from showing any sign of seriousness, being full of unfounded predictions, which call into question even the quality of the academic training of the military involved – or their commitment to the truth.

In the document, the Brazilian military set up a series of hypothetical scenarios and warn that France could become a real threat to Brazil in the coming years. The reason is due to a brief tension and war of words between the Presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Emmanuel Macron over the past year, due to the environmental crisis and bushfires in the Amazon Rainforest. For Brazilian generals, this is already a sufficient basis to see France as a real threat to national security, ignoring notable facts, such as that both countries are the biggest trading partners in military industry and that the tension between Bolsonaro and Macron has already calmed down months ago, in addition to the fact that the French interest in starting a transcontinental war over the Amazon territory is absolutely minimal.

Continuing with forecasts, the document testifies to a future of great tensions in South America, with Venezuela and Guyana fighting conflicts in the north and Bolivia and Chile in the south, in addition to the installation of Chinese and American military bases across the continent. Brazil, aligning itself with the USA, will act as a mediator of regional conflicts and will receive advanced armaments from Washington. The document also foresees the installation of three American military bases in Colombia and a conflict between this country and Venezuela. It is also speculated that Argentina will grow economically with oil exploration and that it will align with China, but that Brazil will veto the installation of Chinese bases in the neighboring country.

Brazil’s role in internal tensions and international geopolitics will depend exclusively on its good relations with the United States. The dossier speculates that China will overtake the United States as an economic power, but that Washington will remain the global military leader. Brazilian alignment with American hegemonic power, then, will be a matter of survival and will allow Brazil to mediate regional conflicts, pacify neighboring countries and curb Chinese influence in South America. The generals go even further with their unfounded speculations and claim that Brazil will arouse the fury of “ultranationalist groups in Southeast Asia” that, in retaliation, will launch biological weapons against the Brazilian population on the occasion of the musical festival “Rock in Rio” in its 2039 edition.

In brief summary, the document creates a hypothetical scenario in which Brazil’s alignment with the United States will no longer be a matter of political will, but of necessity and survival. In practice, a group of more than 500 military researchers created a myth to justify alignment with Washington, using predictions that lack meaning and material bases. The ultimate goal is simply to forcibly instill the belief that Brazil should become an American ally.

But the Brazilian military does not stop there. Recently, the Russian ship Yantar approached the Brazilian coast, having anchored for a few days in the state of Rio de Janeiro. When the ship was about 50 miles away from the beaches of Rio, the Brazilian Navy issued a communication signal that was not answered immediately. It happens, however, that the vessel responded to the communication attempts issued later, which was not enough for the Brazilian Navy to retreat in its false alarm that the Russian ship would be performing espionage services on the Brazilian coast, spreading the lie through several media agencies and creating an unnecessary tension atmosphere.

The scandal made by the Brazilian Navy would make any specialist in military and intelligence operations laugh. Do they really believe that such a vessel would be used for espionage purposes with such public exposure? Would the Brazilian State be irresponsible to the point of creating such an atmosphere of tension with Russia for absolutely nothing?

The scenario leads one to believe that it is not a collective idiocy of Brazilian generals, but rather a very well-designed project to create an environment of fear in relation to everything that is not of interest to the United States. Chinese military presence in South America, Russian espionage, French threat, regional wars, biological terrorism – these are all imaginary threats meticulously created by the military who are no longer interested in national defense, but in the country’s subordination to the hegemonic global power.

Brazil seems to be experiencing one of the worst moments in its history. Again, the higher generals are more committed to external interests than to the defense of their own country and seem to be willing to do anything to see Brazil become an American dependency.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

February 25, 2020 - Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Russophobia | , ,

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