December 7, 2022

EXPO Magazine

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Brazil will feel the impact of the new US national security strategy; Read the article

Two recent events have the potential to directly affect Brazilian interests, mainly in the military and commercial areas — the Ukraine war And new National Security Strategy — therefore, anyone doing business here in any part of the world, especially those who have won presidential elections, should analyze them.

From a military point of view, in terms of doctrines and equipment, our relations have always been very close with the US and European countries. Today, there are two re-equipment programs that are considered strategic by our submarine forces. Navy and hunting Air Force.

The development of Program for the Development of Submarines (PROSUB) In conjunction with France Founded in 2008, it aimed to replace the technology used to manufacture conventional submarines. It is the basis for the national development of a nuclear-powered submarine, which is considered a basic deterrent system for our interests and the integrity of the territorial sea and exclusive economic zone. In this regard, it is noteworthy that Australia canceled last year’s purchase of French submarines that were replaced by a US offer. Despite the most severe diplomatic pushback from Paris, the replacement went ahead.

Image shows two FAB aircraft in flight

The FX2 project, the re-equipment and modernization of the FAB – the fleet of supersonic military aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force, was established in 2006, aimed at the joint development of technology and the acquisition of a fourth-generation multi-role aircraft. The choice of the Swedish chopper JAS 39 Gripen was largely due to the fact that it was not from a member state. I take it, a U.S.-led military alliance, and have no export restrictions because they do not have U.S. commercial organizations. But with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Sweden It decided to join the Atlantic Alliance. Also, NATO’s rules for technology transfer are quite different from those followed by former neutral Sweden.

In addition to these two major projects, the Brazilian Armed Forces have already acquired equipment, systems, and have an active exchange program with North American forces.

Still on the military front, lessons learned from the war in Ukraine should shape reforms in many of the world’s armed forces. Brazil cannot be left out of this list. All noted the military disaster and subsequent counteroffensive in which the Russian invasion and Western equipment and advice had played a key role in Ukrainian survival thus far. Therefore, it is important to realize that Western military technology has become an essential source of information for planning any modern armed force. Absent this connection is tantamount to relegating the past to preparing for war.

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On the other hand, the US government has launched its National Security Strategy, which outlines its worldview and 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. Although one does not necessarily imply the other, it makes clear that the latter requires cooperation, which is difficult in times of great power rivalry.

This contest, in the view of the White House, is characterized as between democracy and autocracy, with the United States as the first group and China Second. To counter this reality, the strategy outlines three lines: 1) invest in the American source of power and influence; 2) building alliances to shape the international environment; 3) Strengthening of armed forces.

To compete with China, it is necessary to invest in innovation and industrial capacity on American soil, in key sectors: semiconductors, advanced computing, biotechnology, clean energy and telecommunications. In addition, there is protection for renegotiating international trade rules, so the United States seeks to unite allies and partners to combat anticompetitive practices and ensure high labor and environmental standards.

With the practice of “friends”, that is, the search for friendly suppliers and partners, and, if possible, geographically close, this new NSS will make Western companies re-evaluate their future investments, even in neighboring countries. Too close diplomatic relations with authoritarian governments may deter investment in some states. On October 5th, when announcing his plan to nationalize semiconductor manufacturing as a matter of national security, President Biden was very forthright: the Javelin anti-tank missile, highly effective against Russian tanks in Ukraine, a Chinese microchip, and “it’s over.”

The example is good because it concerns us directly. On August 10 The Brazilian Army was authorized to purchase 222 missiles, as well as 33 missile command units and training missiles. The State Department approved the sale (valued at $75 million), which has been stalled for months but is still pending approval by the US Congress. And spear procurement is not an isolated case. As evidenced by President Biden’s speech, the US Congress and administration are looking at “options” to “advance” investments or sales of products in a restructured post-Ukraine world.

Thus, the military and commercial sectors are the two sectors most rapidly affected by changes in international politics. Again, the winner of the presidential elections – whoever it is – will have to make decisions that affect them because, depending on the foreign policy position adopted, it can affect Brazilian military and commercial interests.

*G√ľnther Rudzid and Leonardo Trevisan are Professors of International Relations at ESPM.

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