By Artur Luiz Santana Moreira

Spring 1997



























Acronyms and Abbreviations


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


United Nations


Western European Union


United States


Non-Governmental Organization


North American Free Trade Agreement


South American Common Market


International Monetary Fund


World Bank


Free Trade Area of the Americas


European Community


General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade




During the Cold War period, the existence of nuclear weapons meant that security problems were dominated by the development of deterrence and arms control theories and that the preservation of military stability was of such overriding importance that it superseded all other considerations.

The sudden manner in which the Cold War ended has created confusion in South America and conflicts in other parts of the world such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The removal of the straitjacket of the Cold War has unleashed a host of problems and produced a multiplicity of risks that will need to be dealt with in new ways since existing security structures have proved inadequate or inappropriate.

A new set of axioms is needed to determine the conditions under which military force might be used, and the manner in which conflict might be avoided.

In light of the historical changes mentioned above, the main questions that will guide my work are: how the most powerful state of the world, the United States of America, intends to influence developing countries and Latin America in particular; how US military policy is being restructured; how important sovereignty and nationalism are in this new world order; what tendencies we can find in other countries; and what paths we forsee for Brazilian military policy in the future.

Raising these themes will permit US to identify the set of axioms that will be adequate to Brazilian military policy since none of the public policies that are going to be reshaped in Brazil is so influenced by international affairs and the level of state sovereignty as is military policy.


For four and half decades after the end of World War II, the global confrontation between East and West was a central feature of international relations. One of the key aspects of this confrontation was the tremendous growth in Soviet and US military power. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States came to be opponents facing each other in a monumental global power struggle which threatened to plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust.

The end of the Cold War must be seen primarily as a change in the structure of political and military relations with the Soviet Union.

The collapse of Soviet military power and the end of the Cold War occurred in two distinct stages. The first was marked by the complete Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact as a military and political alliance. This process brought about the end of the military confrontation in Central Europe.

From the western perspective it ended the military threat which the Soviet Union had posed to Western Europe and beyond. It also constituted a substantial shift in the balance of power on the continent to the detriment of the Soviet Union.

The second phase in the collapse of Soviet military power was the result of the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself and the break-up of the military establishment along the lines of the former Soviet republics, which become newly independent states.

However, some areas of concern can still be identified. "The first is a resurgence of conflict with post communist states, in particular Russia. The problem here is that the transition to a liberal democracy and a successful market economy is far from complete in the states on the territory of the former Soviet (. . . ) Although there can be no return to the Cold War that existed in communist times, the East- West conflict cannot be considered to be truly over until the transition to a liberal democracy in the Eastern European countries and especially those of the former Soviet Union is complete."

There are some other possibilities of conflict: a) A possible effort by Russia to play a more assertive role in the territory of the former Soviet Union. These states could force the West to adopt a position of strong opposition against Russia and destroy the currently prevailing relationship of cooperation; b) The possibility of the emergence of an authoritarian, possibly nationalist regime in Russia hostile to the West cannot be precluded and would present the West with very awkward policy options; and c) The opposite possibility would be the further disintegration of Russia and the Balkanization of the former Soviet Union.

The threat to the West has a different characteristic nowadays. "From the perspective of the West, the principal security problem is no longer perceived as stemming from the threat of military invasion, but the consequences of ethnic implosions and economic chaos in Eastern and Central Europe. Mass migration from Eastern and Southern Europe as a result of political upheavals and economic deprivation could have serious repercussions on the economy and social cohesion of Germany and other Western European countries."

At the same time, military confrontation between states should not arise in Europe at this moment since there is reluctance on the part of Western European states to get involved in anything other than peace-keeping and humanitarian actions. This is a consequence of the perceived difficulty of legitimizing such potentially costly and controversial actions at home and of the fact that at present Western European and US security interests are not directly affected.

The end of the Cold War presents new challenges. "The purpose of Western security policy must be to prevent a return to an international system dominated by the military factor. The only alternative is a political order based on international norms and institutions which provide a framework of collective security and economic cooperation."

If there are any dangers nowadays they seem to affect primarily Europe instead of the entire world. This is the main difference between the present period and the Cold War period. The second difference is that these dangers to European security cannot be averted primarily by military means, but require the development of political and economic cooperation since the threats to societal security are primarily non-military, resulting from economic dislocation, ethnic rivalries and, as a consequence, large migratory movements.



The Russian threat became reduced since President Gorbachev announced major unilateral cuts at the United Nations General Assembly in December 1988. When the last Russian forces left Germany on September 1, 1994, this threat also became geographically much more distant.

On the other hand, Russia remains a formidable nuclear power and it is likely that the destruction of its nonstrategic nuclear power and its strategic nuclear weapons, agreed with the US in June 1992, will not be completed until well into the next century.

So the Western European countries have the following challenges:

a) adequate, yet non-provocative defenses need to be maintained against the residual threat from Moscow;

b) a new system of international relations needs to be promoted in Central and Eastern Europe which will maximize the importance of cooperation and minimize considerations of power politics and conflictual security relations;

c) Western Europe wants the world beyond the European continent to be marked by international order and cooperation rather than by disorder and conflict since it needs a continuous supply of oil and other vital materials; and

d) Western Europeans can only ensure that the security of the community is sustained if they maintain defense on a coalition basis where states do not feel that they are responsible only for their own national defense.

We can summarize this challenge in the words of Trevor Taylor: "In the absence of a major external threat from Moscow, all NATO members basically have more choice in their defense and security policies. A problem in the future will be to maintain a substantial coordination of their defense policies in the absence of a massive, immediate danger. A challenge for Western Europeans may be to maintain coordinated positions even after an American withdrawal from Europe."

In order to see how this challenge is being addressed, the Royal Institute of International Affairs developed a research project with these central tasks: a) to seek out compatible and complementary features among the emerging defense and security policies of different states; b) to identify incompatible features in such emerging policies and c) to make proposals to generate greater harmony and complementary among national policies.

This research made some important conclusions which will be of great use for our own conclusions at the end of this paper:

"1) Western Europeans need to develop their basic thinking on global and regional order, on the roles of military intervention, and on the legitimizing basis for such intervention (. . . );

2) Unless Western Europeans address burden-sharing issues, efforts at intensified cooperation will generate increased friction over the distribution of costs, and over how risks and responsibilities are shared. All major cooperating governments must be seen as making a reasonable contribution;

3) There is doubt whether adequate international consultation on force restructuring and cooperation will be forthcoming for West Europeans to develop complementary rapid reaction forces well as NATO defense units.(. . . );

4) The apparent consensus on many nuclear issues in Western Europe should not disguise the many resource and doctrinal issues which the nuclear system will continue to raise in the future; and

5) Contrasts in decision-making practices, procedures and cultures will, if not carefully managed (and where possible, harmonized) hinder cooperative efforts in a range of areas."


In this region, the disintegration of the former Soviet Union released ethnic tensions and national aspirations that had been artificially suppressed for over 40 years. This new nationalism has been founded on ethnic and linguistic considerations, rather than a notion of democracy and popular sovereignty.

The difficulty of NATO countries in dealing with Eastern Europe lies in the fact that the geo-political context changed. Threats have to be analyzed in other than just territorial terms. The characteristics of defense restructuring in each bloc are by themselves a consequence of these new terms as listed below (see Tabel 1 next page).

NATO countries should prepare the armed forces for carrying out: peacekeeping operations; humanitarian relief operations; support of post-conflict peacebuilding; verification of arms control agreements; and defense of the NATO Treaty Area.

All these requirements lead to integrated operations, in which the navy, army and air force have to work together. For multilateral operations on a low military level, like peacekeeping, interoperability will be one of the key factors of cooperation in the future. The abilities of professional soldiers must be of a high standard. Countries will have to stop collecting the peace dividend and the decrease of their defense budgets in order to develop these integrations. Strong cohesion among NATO members and a readiness to adapt to new circumstances are badly needed and are the only recipe for survival.

TABLE 1 - Characteristics of Defense Restructuring



1-Review of security and defense policy + +


2-From NATO contribution to UN + na


3-Restructuring of the armed forces + ++


4-Depoliticization of the armed forces na ++

5-Denationalization +/- ++


6-Facing increasing instability +/- ++


7-Decrease of budgets + ++


8-Smaller and more flexible forces ++ +/-


9-Shift from active to mobil units ++ +


10-Use of modern equipment + +/-


11-Burden sharing + na


12-Shift from conscripts to volunteers + +/-


13-Preparing for compatibility with NATO

countries na ++




Central European Countries

(na )

not applicable


well applicable

(+ )



more or less applicable

On the other hand, the goals set out for the armed forces of Central Europe are much more difficult to achieve than those of the Western European countries. Severe budget constraints, depolitization, a shift to a different doctrine, inadequate equipment for defense operations, and a completely different security environment are some of the difficulties which have to be overcome during the transformation to democracy and a market economy.

Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the central European countries have been tailoring their armed forces to the defense of their national territories. To complicate matters, this restructuring process has to take place while considering the possible demands of future membership of NATO and the WEU. Thus it must take into account a possible gradual extension of cooperation and integration with western structures.

When the conditions for cooperation have been met, the armed forces will be able to participate with NATO countries in peacekeeping operations. The former Warsaw pact countries are developing a defensive posture which heightens confidence in the region. But, "if the West concentrates too much on its own affairs and does not set the right conditions for a smooth transition and future cooperation, it will make it more likely that the favorable tide for democracy in Central and Eastern Europe will turn."

In Eastern Europe, military institutions have been undermined by cuts in defense budgets resulting in disenchantment among the professional officer corps, a process which could threaten democracy. The downsizing of the military-industrial base could add to rising unemployment, which could in turn erode the social basis of support for the new liberal governments.

All Central and Eastern European countries wish to become NATO members, although political and military integration can only take place gradually after some criteria have been net by each country:

"a) The credibility of the request for admittance. Central here is the continuity of a country’s policies. Is it based on the current situation? Is it motivated by short term goals? Is it motivated by a long-term vision? (. . .);

b) The security and defense policy of any candidate member must be in agreement with the Washington Treaty (NATO) and with the Treaty of Brussels (WEU) (. . . );

c) Democratic and political control over the Armed Forces(. . .);

d) Defensive defense doctrine(. . . );

e) The organization, training and education of the Armed Forces should be in line with the defense doctrine;

f) The force levels of the Armed Forces, both personnel and material, should be in line with the principle of adequate defense. An offensive doctrine requires more personnel and material than a defensive one. A defensive doctrine concentrates the Armed Forces on the national territory. (. . .);

g) Prospective members must not be involved in conflicts (. . . )"

The paradox in Europe is that the forces of nationalism become more apparent when the tendencies towards integration such as through UN membership and through regional organizations as the European Union are stronger than ever. In Eastern Europe, these forces are very present.

The tendency towards integration through supranational organizations attenuates nationalism. NATO membership, of course, involves some sacrifice of sovereignty. "One of the challenges for the new international system is how best to provide states with nationalist ambitions with a framework to damp down these tendencies. The dilemma, of course, is whether to admit aspirant members to regional security organizations early and risk being affected by their instability, or to shut them out, thereby exacerbating conflict which might spread, in any case."

The other dilemma facing military policymakers is how to integrate Central and Eastern Europe without threatening Russia.


Latin America will be obliged to reshape its military policy due to three basic reasons. The first one is common to all the countries in the world. the end of the Cold War which determined the rules and guided foreign affairs for 45 years, shaping military missions everywhere.

The US, concerned with hemispheric security, was responsible fro containing the external enemy, the Soviet Union, while each state in the region took care of communist subversion in its own territory. This kind of alliance does not make sense anymore and faces a crisis.

The second reason is the democratic transition that Latin American countries initiated during the last decade. At this moment, democracy is firmly implanted in the entire region and the Armed Forces have lost political power.

Defense budgets tend to be proportionately low in Latin America. Neoliberal policies are intended to adjust macroeconomic problems, reducing the influence of the state wherever it is possible. Theoretically, limited public resources are going to be applied to solve educational and health deficiencies in the region.

This situation is most acute in Argentina. In 1982, this country lost a an external war, the Malvinas War, and troops are humiliated, resentful and underpaid. The renovation of weapons almost does not exist.

In order to avoid radical solutions, such as the elimination of the Armed Forces, Thomas Scheets proposed a new doctrine called non-provocative defense, which says that the use of electronic guided projectiles allows the defender to resist a attack with low costs. Aircraft carriers, long distance missiles, tanks and some airplanes are much more expensive. These weapons threaten the neighbors when a regional trade agreement asks for more integration and cooperation.

This author also argues against the usefulness of an offensive military policy for Argentina with these geopolitical observations: a) Argentina developed good relationships with Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. There would be no reason to build an aggressive Armed Forces even if these countries are weaker; b) an invasion of Chile would only achieve a temporary conquest; c) offensive conquest against Brazil would not work since this country is much stronger; and d) the reconquest of the Malvinas would not be possible for at least 20 years.

The third reason that influences military policy in the region is the US redefinition of interests.

The US is very close to the IMF and the World Bank. It uses these organizations to pressure its neighbors into adopting economic liberalization and free markets policies in order to create secure trade partners.

These policies, normally seen as threat to the sovereignty of the countries, can stimulate reactions of nationalistic sectors of these societies. The Armed Forces would be one of these sectors, and a powerful one.

The US makes a huge effort to reduce the size and influence of these institutions in Latin America. All military aid that arrives in the region today is associated with a transnational task, the fight against drug trafficking, which will keep the Armed Forces occupied, but, at the same time, will reduce their national identity.

When we analyze Mexico, we see that the integration to NAFTA implied an important loss of sovereignty. The Salinas Administration facilitated this endeavor when it tried to redefine Mexican identity as a country that belongs to the North American geopolitical bloc. A great number of Mexican officers started training at US military academies.

The existence of internal problems in Chiapas did not allow the Armed Forces to face a serious identity conflict in Mexico. The old principles that focused on the internal defense could still be applied.

The focus on internal defense may be reborn in all of Latin America if social problems worsen instead of improving as neoliberal policies contend.

However, even when the issue is the war against drug trafficking, US military coordination in Latin America is weak nowadays, there is more freedom to redefine roles and missions of the Armed Forces than there was in the past.

However, this task will not be easy. New paradigms must be found in a moment in which the Armed Forces do not have the same political power they had in the past. The state is weakened and, at the same time, there are huge and urgent demands in social sectors.

We desire for the region a kind of peaceful and prosperous zone similar to the one we find among western European countries and between the US and Canada. The hobbesian anarchy related to the classic system does not develop mutual confidence in a relationship between states since the equilibrium of power is the main goal. This situation can generate expensive arms races.

This zone of peace can be achieved by one of these three solutions or combinations of them: a) unification due to a common enemy; b) the existence of a supranational power; and c) the development of strong ties of interdependency. The benefits to the winner of any conflict would not compensate for the breakup of these ties.

According to regional military analysts, the situation surrounding Latin American security would be anywhere between the hobbesian anarchy and the zone of peace.

Thus, the first thing we must consider when we think about the redefinition of Latin American military missions is the maintenance of a minimal classical defense against one’s neighbors. The war between Peru and Ecuador in the beginning of 1995 illustrates the reason for this preoccupation.

The hemispheric integration of trade that is being discussed by the countries has the potentioal to convert the region into a kind of zone of peace. This expectation is not assured since the unproportional power between the states that will sign the future agreement can generate much more dependency than interdependency. In this case, the US can impose its will on Latin American countries if this country considers it worthwhile.

Latin America would hardly join together against this possible common enemy since the US would never impose simultaneously its power on more than one country. The tendency would be to isolate the problematic country from the others.

In this scenario, the Brazilian proposal to integrate the hemisphere makes sense. First of all, Brazil wants to solidify MERCOSUR. Hemispheric integration should only be considered when a strong solidarity has arisen among the states that integrate MERCOSUR. These countries would then be in a better position to negotiate with the US and Canada, the stronger bloc.

As the future is uncertain, each Latin American state should develop a minimum military dissuasion against American military intervention although this instrument has not been used by the Clinton Administration to impose this country’s will as it was in the past.

The use of military force is more likely to occur again in these countries nearest to the US, like those located in Central America, since they continue to be relatively too weak to dissuade that hegemonic nation.

The ideal of mutual security in that region is very unlikely to occur due to the many political barriers.

It is possible that the redefinition of military roles in Central America will be very close to US hegemonic desires. If the Armed Forces are not eliminated, they will be burned with: a) internal public security, fighting against transnational mafias when national polices forces are not efficient; b) environmental security, when the irrational use of resources can affect the collective welfare; c) natural misfortunes; and d) tasks to develop each country.

Of course, these four functions will have to be considered in the redefinition of military missions in South America too although there will be many reactions against them in the Armed Forces. Some officers fear that the Latin American Armed Forces will lose their capacity for classic combat. Corruption is also something that worries them if the Armed Forces have to fight continuously against drug trafficking .

But even, if the Armed Forces are not the main actors in these issues, they will have to participate in them anyway. The integration of military policy with other policies seems to be the solution.

Finally, as Latin America comes to be a perfect zone of peace, UN military missions in other parts of the world will increase their importance to Latin American Armed Forces.

In this case, the integration of Latin American military policies will have to be seriously thought through in the same way that the European Union discusses NATO nowadays. The US will have a important role to play in this integration.

In this scenario, the classic conflict between neighbors would lose its meaning. The achieved security in the hemisphere would be used to strengthen world multilateral organizations like the UN in order to spread the Kantian ideal of universal peace throughout the world.

To summarize, we can say that Latin America cannot still think of its various national outside of the nation-state framework. This paradigm will dominate the way we see this policy for a long time. It will change if hemispheric integration of trade creates a new zone of peace. Unfortunately, however this is not assured due to the huge economic and social differences among countries of the region.


Threats to peace come from the actions of specific countries. Even in economic competition we often put a face on an enemy. But the kinds of threats that US and other developed countries see in the developing countries do not have a face. They do not originate in one country alone, nor do they result from deliberate policies of specific governments. This faceless quality is part of what makes them so hard to deal with. Population growth, food, nonrenewable resources and environmental pollution are some of these global issues that worry developed countries.

Population growth dilutes the per capita wealth of society. Such dilution might be tolerable in a society as rich as the United States but the consequences are serious for a society where most people are already at the edge of sustenance. At the same time, population growth reduces a society’s ability to cope with malnutrition problems.

The first resource that comes to mind when discussing the effects of a rapidly growing population is food. It might appear that the debate on resources has not changed much since the days of Thomas Malthus. Someone makes a prediction of impending disaster based on a logical projection of a present trend. The prediction turns out to be wrong because of human ability to come up with a technical solution. Will food be a cause of conflict in the future? Will starving countries be in conditions to fight for a better distribution of resources? These are the kind of questions that developed countries should think about when formulating their defense policies.

A more serious issue is that of nonrenewable resources. The argument, then, is not simply that we are running out of food but that we are simultaneously approaching limits in many areas, arable land, fresh water, ocean fisheries, fossil fuels and strategic mineral. Shortages in only one of these areas would have serious consequences in each of the other. Of course, new technologies had the capacity of breaking the pessimistic projection in the past. Will the rate of technological innovation continue to be higher than the rate of consumption in the future? This is the main question when developed countries analyze their nonrenewable resources and their security. Will developed countries depend on developing countries? Will their Armed Forces have to intervene in order to guarantee a favorable flow of these resources?

In environmental pollution, there is a clearer and more present conflict between rich and poor countries. As every country wants to grow and as environmental pollution does not respect boundaries, new paradigms of production have to be created even though it is expensive. Who will pay for it? Will developed countries prefer to invest in Armed Forces in order to force developing countries specific behaviors?

When we look at the global warming, we see that this option is not so impossible. "Rich countries have focused on the loss of tropical rainforests to timber cutting, inundation by dams, and burning to clear land for agriculture. The poor countries where these forests are located protest that they need to use these lands for their own development. They in turn point to gases released into the atmosphere by the 400,000,000 automobiles in the world, mostly in the wealthy countries"

Because the possibility of war has not disappeared and because international mechanisms are so weak, states must still look to their own defenses. How does the US and other developed countries intend to solve this global problems when debate centers on the behavior of developing nations?

Many kinds of interventions seem to be the answer in the aftermath of the Cold War. We should understand that interventions are not a single military phenomenon. "In state-to-state relations, it ranges from the telephone calls of a foreign ministry, to intelligence-gathering, to the dispatch of troops. International relations by definition consist of continual actions by governments to influence the behavior of other states"

Intergovernmental organizations are also active in this arena, as when the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund imposes economic conditionality that limits policy options by governments borrowing resources for structural adjustment. Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also seek to influence domestic affairs.

Most of the developing countries are weak states. They are generally unable to resist outside pressures, sometimes even from nonstates actors.

Great powers have explicitly resorted to interventions when their perceived national interests are at stake. "However, they have not necessarily subjected themselves to international oversight and restraints, which are especially desirable for interventions based upon a human rights or a humanitarian rationale." This is the reason that maintains many developing countries reticent or outright hostile toward UN intervention. Fearing that interventions are only the most powerful, many developing countries cling to the idea that state sovereignty does not permit outside intervention. Sovereignty is supposedly their only protection against the imposition of foreign powers.

What would be a justifiable and fair criteria for intervention? We can define the criteria of UN peacekeeping operations as good ones:

a) The severity of the human rights violation;

b) Satisfaction of the proportionality criterion;

c) Humanitarian concern, not some hidden agenda or mixed motive, should characterize the purpose of intervention; and

d) Prior exhaustion of nonintervention remedies.

Does the US, the main leadership of developed countries, intervene only within these criteria? No, the US has its own criteria and interests. Developing countries really have to be worried. We can see this affirmation if we list some of the principles that guide US foreign policy:

"a)Weapons Proliferation - Curbing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems, arguably the chief threat to US national security, requires broad multilateral cooperation and active US engagement in bolstering security in unstable regions.( . . . );

b) Containment - The containment of local conflicts, so that they do not expand and escalate, has come to replace the containment of Soviet expansionism as a central security goal for the United States and its allies(. . . ) Often these threats can be addressed through non-military interventions by regional and global organizations, or by preventive force deployments(. . . );

c) Reinforce Norms - As a nation with a stake in global stability, the United States has an interest in encouraging respect for the broad range of norms for international and domestic behavior that have developed over the past half century. Much of this code of conduct is embedded in the UN charter and its Preamble. Among the norms are standards for human rights, genocide, non-aggression, territorial integrity, transparency, arms control, environmental protection and the free flow of ideas, people communications and trade acrossnational boarders. (. . .);

d) Democracy and Pluralism - (. . .) US policymakers through the years have found it more reliable and more productive to deal with democratic governments than with authoritarian and totalitarian ones; and

e) Trade and Jobs - (. . .) As a global economic power seeking free trade and open markets, the United States depends on a stable world order to maintain its economic health and welfare. (. . . ) If developing countries can prosper in a peaceful environment, as has been the case in much of Asia, their appetites for US products and foodstuffs will grow apace, producing more export oriented jobs in the United States;"

US values are spread in all multilateral organizations since it is the main sponsor of most of them. If it cannot adjust the rules of the new world order to its national interests, it will use the Armed Forces to guarantee them. Developing countries will be the most important victims of US hegemony which will tend to be stronger if it achieves a more effective alliance with other developed countries.

Of course, the US cannot do that without respecting some principles that are related in the UN charter in order not to lose its legitimacy. The Armed Forces will be the last option. Multilateral organizations and diplomacy will be the first options to achieve US aims.

Faceless threats to developed countries like environmental pollution and nonrenewable resources will be better managed by nonviolent ways. But if a third world leader like Saddam Husseim wants to increase the relative power of his state, military power can be used again. In this case, partial responsibility of this state to these faceless threats will be lightened and any justifiable UN criteria for military intervention will be found in order to legitimize the use of force.

Before studying how the US is reshaping its Armed Forces to this new world order with new roles and missions as well as its foreign policy to Latin America, we will have to deepen the question about the weakness of concepts like sovereignty and nationalism to see how they can be ideologically used by the US and its allies.



There is perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than of sovereignty. "It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon."

Modern discussions of sovereignty have often addressed the question of whether one can speak of absolute sovereignty for states, a power above international law. Although one principle upon which there seems to be universal agreement is that sovereignty is an attribute of statehood, and that only states can be sovereign.

"The classic definition of a state is found in the 1933 Montevideo, Convention on Rights and Duties of States, article I of which provides that the state as a persona of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with other states."

Even with their own territory, states have long been limited by international law in a manner which makes any argument in favor of absolute sovereignty difficult to maintain. For instance, the equitable use of water resources upon which other states depend also is mandated by international law. At least some fundamental human rights norms have achieved the status of customary international law, including the prohibition against genocide and systematic racial discrimination.

Even more significant today than those limits on state sovereignty which might be imposed by general or customary international law are the self-imposed or de facto restrictions which have resulted from the complex economic and political international order of the twentieth century.

"Decisions made by international technocratic bodies with nearly universal membership (such as the International Telecommunications Union, World Meteorological Organization, Universal Postal Union and International Civil Aviation Organization) are effectively binding on all states, whether or not such decisions are ultimately expressed in the form of multilateral conventions. The General Agreement on Tariffs Trade obviously has major implications for the international economic system and the role that states play therein, whether or not any given state is a party to it."

Of particular significance is the growth of multilateral economic and political treaties which seek to regulate a far greater range of issues among states than did earlier bilateral trade or diplomatic treaties or even earlier political-military alliances. While neither the United Nations nor the European Community has become a world or regional government, respectively, their impact on the conduct of international relations has no doubt been greater than that of any preceding international organization.

From the developing countries’ perspective, the issue of lost sovereignty is greater in its implication, touching not just on the threat of actual physical intervention but on every aspect of the tradition of the absolute sovereignty of the state.

When we consider only the worst kind of intervention, i.e, military, the Middle East and Central America used to being the main targets. Both areas have uncomfortable memories of recent experiences of this kind of intervention.

In fact, the practice and threat of military intervention by the USA, buttressed by Britain and France, seem to most observers in the developing world that the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, cannot prosper and live in harmony.

As Adam Roberts said: "International law and society are still caught propounding contradictory principles: on the one hand, the sovereignty of states and non-intervention in their internal affairs, and on the other hand human rights; on the one hand the equality of states, and on the other the special privileges of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (. . . ) Power is still the key factor in international relations."

With the end of the Cold War, the United States is now acting as its founder intended, as a vehicle of the wishes of the five permanent members, given their veto power within the Security Council. It was only the Cold War which prevented this situation and, thereby, gave the rapidly expanding developing world of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s a degree of unexpected freedom of diplomatic action. The antagonism between Western and Eastern permanent members meant that the veto power was nullified. An effective balance of power was established within the organization which peripheral states could exploit.

"Now that the antagonist balance of power between the two former superpowers has come to a end, there appears to be no restraint on potential Western interventionism as the legal assumptions over sovereign immunity and equality are replaced by an aggressive Western view of realpolitik."

The growing readiness to practice military intervention partnered by a more long standing determination to intervene in social and economic spheres.

Programs for economic restructuring as practiced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD - World Bank), both multilateral organizations that form the core economic institutions set up at the Bretton Woods conference in the 1940s, today reflect the neoclassical economic concerns of the major powers, particularly the U.S. rather than the keynesian ideals of that period. Together with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), they provide an ideological counterweight to the various economic institutions of the United Nations, particularly over the issue of economic development in the developing world.

Their multilateral bodies, such as the IMF and the World Bank, have adequate tools to articulate the economic interests of states in the developed world to intervene in the economic development of the developing world.

For instance, each member of the IMF has a quota, expressed in SDRs, that is equal to its subscription in the IMF. The quota, which is designed broadly to reflect the relative size of the member’s economy, is the fundamental element in a member’s financial and organizational relations with the IMF. The quota determines a member’s voting power in the IMF, which is based on 1 vote for each SDR 100,000 of its quota plus the 250 basic votes to which member is entitled. On August 1st, 1996, 181 countries were members of the IMF, with total quotas amounting to about SDR 145 billion.

Total amount of basic of basic votes: 181 x 250 = 42,250

Total amount of votes for quotas: 145 billion / 100,00 = 1,450,000

Total amount of votes = 42,250 + 1,450,000 = 1,492,250

Distribution of power in IMF (1)






% votes

% added
































































(1) IMF Survey - A Publication of the international Monetary Fund - September, 1996, pp. 5

(2) million SDRs

We can see that almost half of voting power in IMF is in the hands of seven main capitalist countries (44,85%). Majority is achieved when two allies are added to this group Saudi Arabia is an old ally and Russia a new one.

The "willingness of independent sovereign states to coalesce into multilateral organizations to ensure global economic and political order has been replaced by the hegemonic dominance of one (the U.S.) or group of states which subverts the multilateralism of the past in its own interests, thus achieving the role of hegemonic stability. (. . . )The fact that the U.S. may not be able to maintain its dominant economic hegemony is of minor significance, if that burden can be accepted by other core actor, such as the EC or even Japan"

The generally adverse terms of international trade, coupled with a slow down in economic growth in the developing world, meant that many states were unable to meet repayment schedules and had, therefore, to turn to the IMF for help in balancing their external accounts and the World Bank for financial support in modernizing their economies.

All aid has been conditional on three separate conditions: economic liberalization, approved standards of human rights observance and democratic political structures. These conditionality principles reflect the growing confidence of Western leaders that the end of the Cold War permits them to impose such conditions without international hindrance. Each of them, in effect, impinges directly on the sovereignty of the state, particularly for states in the periphery since concepts as human rights and democracy do not necessarily relate to the basic values of the societies on which they are imposed, for instance.

This attempt to impose an ideological straitjacket on the developing world merely antagonizes and frustrates those on whom it is imposed. In a world which is not based on consensus discourse but on a hierarchy of power there are few in the periphery that can counter the ideological stream of new world order.

3.2 Nationalism

It is paradoxical to evoke the demise of the nation-state at the very moment at which the Soviet Union is breaking up under the pressure of nationalism, when the German nation is recreating itself, and when the United Nations has never before known so many members.

What do these scholars argue? They argue that there are some transnational games that are more powerful than are the states themselves are.

The economy of drugs is a good illustration of this bypassing of states by transnational games. Everywhere that the state is weakened or the climatic conditions are favorable, drugs take root, profoundly transforming society. So it comes as no surprise that not only Latin America, but also Afghanistan and Lebanon, are important centers of production and processing.

"What distinguishes a national community, as the European have defined it, from all other communities lies in this: it brings people together not for what they are but for the memory of what they have been. A nation has no other definition but historical. It is the locus of a common history, of common misfortunes, and of common triumphs. It is the locus of a shared destiny."

When a country does not have a real history that integrates all of the community, one must be created. "New founding myths are invented, as well as hereditary enemies, to try to reproduce at accelerated speed the history of the oldest European nations, forged with iron and fire. But these nationalisms seem highly fragile at a time that is no longer that of the building of great nations.(. . . ) One could circle the world and show that on entire continents, the national idea survives today only by allying itself with forces that have overtaken it: religion, race, ideology, and the tribe. Rares and rares are the countries whose genealogical history or social contract are such that their territory suffices to define the nation, like a given"

We cannot deny that people and capital have become increasingly mobile. People move to avoid taxes if they are rich, to sell their competence at a higher price if they have a particular talent, and to find work if they are poor. The desire to attract foreign capital in short supply makes it difficult to control a nation’s capital.

Certainly, there still exists a vast domain of economic activity that is not liberated from territorial constraints but the national state is in competition with the whole world, and it cannot with impunity demand more taxes than its competitors in the rush for capital and talent.

States have to reduce their collective "free" services and replace them with paying benefits or individualized systems of insurance. It works well in countries that have high incomes without inequitable distribution. Poor countries become more fragile and more illegitimate when they adopt this kind of measure to reformulate the state.

Poorly equipped to collect taxes, the nation is hardly more efficient in managing the traditional functions of sovereignty, like defense or justice. Even the United States has difficulties to keep its place in the economic competition between countries if it must spend on defense a share of its resources that is always greater than that of its direct competitors.

"The acrimonious exchanges between Tokyo and Washington that were provoked by the Gulf Crisis show that America no longer has the means to be the benevolent guardian of world order, but is loath to be the mercenary of the nonmilitary powers."

Maybe the nation is no longer the natural framework of security, but on the other hand it is too early to say that the nation-state does not have a role in the new world order.

If state-nations do not have the same power and flexibility that they had in the past, it will not mean that they will not stop looking for solutions. Some of them will try to build a huge and new state-nation like WEU, to wide their possibility of success in the world.

This aim will be achieved if solidarity is on the table of negotiations. The EC seems to be more worried than the Americas about implementing this principle. Neither NAFTA, nor MERCOSUR wants to be a new country, only trade partners.

Although the spatial solidarity of territorial communities is disappearing in all nations, the strongest nation-states will continue to abrogate to themselves rights of intervention whether military or economic in the affairs of other states, whatever the moral or legal justification for such acts, if, indeed, there is one. If these nations are weakened as individual actors, they will promote all kinds of integration and alliances to maintain a hierarchy division of power in the world.

It is too early to say that the nation-state is a concept of the past. Powerful states are creating solutions to free forces that can no longer stay restricted to the spatial solidarity of territorial communities.

Nationalism and sovereignty, like all ideas, are both a product of history and a creator of history. Ideas do not exist outside of the history of women and men, nor do they arrive fully formed.

In this way, "the complex sets of questions surrounding issues such as identity, nationality and nationalism, and culture cannot be settled on the basis of pre-existent, unwavering national units. National identity and values are formed in interaction with people and structures across the globe. No single, uncontested repository of value resides within the territory of the state. National identity and national cultures are the products of transnational networks created through the process of globalization."

Thus, Globalization effectively ruptures the territoriality of the nation- state, but it is a multi-faceted process and, as such, not all tendencies point to the growing irrelevance of the state-nation. Sovereignty and nationalism provide a perspective on the world but have never been fixed concept. They will remain important as territorial actors and will seek to enhance their capabilities.

Of course, considerations of the impact of globalization on perceptions of time and space provide a strong challenge to conventional notions of sovereignty and nationalism, but they will have to be rethought respecting historical, political, economic and social situation of each country.

The loss of the traditional national identity and the weakening of sovereignty will vary to each state-nation. All of them will face transnational economic forces, but they will have to give different answers since the historical values and material assets of each one are not the same.

Some countries will use their military and economic power to strengthen the tendencies of globalization for its own benefit. Other countries will subdue to these forces and will lose their sovereignty and their national identity without gaining a new one. Others will try to create a new national identity and new organizations to survive. And the remainders will try to fight against these forces.

The military policy of each country will depend on the solution that each state will find for itself. After having analyzed the US historical and present influence in Latin America and how the country is reshaping its military policy, we can discuss the Brazilian solution.



The countries of Latin America have been important to countries outside the region since Columbus stumbled upon the Western Hemisphere. The colonial empires of Europe: the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch -looked at the region as an area to acquire land and resources.

Latin America has remained an important region economically and strategically because of its size, resources and geographic location. This region has been catching the eye of the United States since the beginning of this century both because of its resource base as well as its geographic proximity. Once this country had the power to assert itself more strongly, even Britain was chased away from the hemisphere.

The first major challenge to US hegemony and regional security came from the axis powers during World War II. The United States became fearful that German influence in Latin America would pose a threat to continental defense and to the shipment of strategic supplies.

During this period, US - Latin America military relations became very close, especially US relations with Mexico and Brazil, countries perceived by US planners as strategically vital to hemispheric defense.

To acquire military cooperation and the right to construct military installations in the region, the United States provided equipment and training, through "lend-lease" agreements.

Brazil and the United States acquired mutual security. The United States was given access to ports and was allowed to build and have access to military facilities in northeastern Brazil. As compensation, Brazil acquired military equipment that would contribute to its defense against any Argentine ambitions.

After World War II, deteriorating relations between the West and the Soviet Union provided the impetus for rapid formalization of an inter-America collective-defense regime.

The United States has employed military intervention on many occasions in the Caribbean and Central America. In 1898, the United States sent troops to Cuba to assist in the war of independence against Spain. There were many other interventions in this country as well as in Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala and Dominican Republic.

"The U.S. military intervention come to a halt in 1933 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s good neighbor policy although it did continue to intervene politically, economically and clandestinely to achieve its national interests."

In 1965, overt military intervention by US forces began again when the United States used its military might to halt a perceived communist revolution in the Dominican Republic. There were others: Granada(1983) and Panama(1989).

Most overt and covert US interventions during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were carried out to stop leftist influence and to attempt to restore order in the region.

The East-West struggle reached its apex in the hemisphere with the 1959 Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro. As a result, the United States developed a policy designed to avert leftist revolutions. The new polity developed and put into action by the Kennedy administration was labeled the Alliance for Progress. "The Alliance had two key components: one was to encourage the economic and social development of Latin America countries, so that revolutions would not be necessary; the often, less public, element established close ties with the region’s militaries for purpose of carrying out counterinsurgency operations wherever needed."

In order to encourage close ties with the militaries of the region, this time for the purpose of eliminating communism, several bilateral and multilateral military arrangements of cooperation were established: School of the Americas in Panama, The Inter-American Defense College, the Conference of American Armies, the inter-American Naval Conference, the conference of the chiefs of the American Air Forces and US provided equipment and training in exchange for military and often political cooperation.

During the Cold War the US promoted interventions and ideological alliances in Latin America. After having finished the Cold War how does the US influence military policy in Brazil and in other countries of the region? This is our next task.

4.2 U.S. Present Influence in Latin America

The maintenance of Latin American stability has been presumed to be a prerequisite for reducing hemispheric or nonhemispheric threats in the region. Therefore, the United States has been vitally interested in the political stability of countries whose political systems it has often characterized as unstable.

Historically, however, "the United States has been most active in Latin America when nonhemispheric states seemed most threatening. Conversely, during periods when threats seemed to be low or nonexistent, the United States has pursued activities less connected with security goals, sometimes neglecting the region or parts of it."

In other words, once foreign threats have been neutralized, the United States has felt free to seek more proximate objectives like the consistent pursuit of commercial interests.

We can say that the end of the Cold War definitely reopened these historical tendencies toward trade agreements within the region. The foreign threat - communism - has gone, and the US will try to gain commercial advantage and to maintain democracy in order to preempt new foreign overtures by offering economic and political alternatives.

In fact, a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is already on the political agenda of the region. In December 1994, the 34 democratic nations of the hemisphere committed themselves for the first time to the goal of free trade in the region by 2005.

US foreign policy is really committed to this policy: "The Western Hemisphere is a fertile field for a strategy of engagement and enlargement. Sustained improvements in the security situation there, including the resolution of border tensions, control of insurgencies and containment of pressures for arms proliferation, will be an essential underpinning of political and economic progress in the hemisphere"

Latin America is important to the US not only on account of trade, but also narcotics, immigration and the environment. The Clinton Administration has changed the US approach in these questions. Not military intervention, but partnerships between governments and nongovernmental organizations and cooperation between nations are going to be the main tools to solve these problems.

"The Clinton Administration has undertaken a new approach to the global scourge of drug abuse and trafficking that will better integrate domestic and international activities to reduce both the demand and the supply of drugs. Ultimate success will depend on concerted efforts and partnerships by the public, all levels of government and the American private sector with other governments, private groups and international bodies."

The other faceless threats, transnational problems like environmental pollution and migration, should also be solved by pacific means as long as American hegemony, solutions and ideas will not be challenged by any state actor.

Consensus-building is going to be the solution to the control of US-Latin American disputes. Shared values will be identified and possibilities for reconciliation or containment of remaining value differences will be explored.

In this way, Brazil has made important progress. "Brazil was never a nationalistic or anti-American in foreign policy as many Latin American states, so that a tradition of foreign policy moderations and close relations with the United States resulted. Accordingly, in spite of repeated policy differences with the United States in recent years, the Brazilian foreign policy tradition of compromise has remained influential."

While basic ideas are shared in US-Latin American relations and the diplomatic process can solve those differences, military instruments should not be used to influence Latin American states, although the US will not eliminate the possibility of using this kind of asset in its foreign affairs with these countries.

The United States will still make continuing attempts to play a hegemonical military role in the region. "The United States has traditionally been able to rely on its hegemonical position in the hemispheric defense network to promote its preferred designs of both military cooperation and arms control"although increasing national military capabilities, alternative arms sources and decreasing dependency on the United States all contribute to enhanced regional ability to pursue more autonomous national security policies.

If there is not a common external enemy to the Americas, as the Soviet Union was, the US will emphasize arms control in order to maintain itself as the hegemonic military power. Brazil and Argentina, the most powerful countries of the region, are not challenging this American proposal and have stopped their military nuclear plans.

Thus, the American policy toward Latin America should continue to be consensus-building for two reasons:

a) The US military and economic powers tend to be relatively strengthened with free markets already accepted as consensus. Improvements in military and economic power of Latin American countries will probably not be so high as the US gains with the same liberal trade agreements; and

b) Latin America can be an important ally of Western civilization in the future since "it is in the interest of the United States and European countries to encourage the westernization of Latin America and, as far as possible, the close alignment of Latin American countries with the west"

We can reproduce the words of Richard Payne: "United States in inclined to resolve disputes peacefully with countries that have cultures similar to its own, and to rely primarily on force or the threat of force to settle conflicts with countries that have significantly different cultures."

The influx into the US of Mexicans, Central Americans, and Caribbeans, and the resulting Hispanic impact on American society will promote cultural convergence. This should involve much lower levels of conflict. Latin America will have to redefine itself as a member of Western Civilization. If countries like Brazil definitely give up their own hegemonic and national projects or delay them indefinitely, consensus solutions will be easier.

5 The Reshape of United States Military Policy

As we have already observed the US has developed a historical hegemony throughout Latin America. The way this country is reshaping its military policy as well its foreign affairs, will influence the way that each state in the region will reshape its own policy.

Under the Clinton Administration, protection of nation, people, territory and way of life will continue to be America’s security imperatives, however have fundamentally changed the way they will be achieved. The threat of communist expansion is gone.

The dangers Americans face today are more diverse: "Ethnic conflict is spreading and rogue states pose a serious danger to regional stability in many corners of the globe. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction represents a major challenge to our security. Large-scale environmental degradation, exacerbated by rapid population growth, threatens to undermine political stability in many countries and regions. And the threat to our open and free society from the organized forces of terrorism, international crime and drug trafficking is greater as the technological revolution, which holds such promise, also empowers these destructive forces with novel means to challenge our security. These threats to our security have no respect for boundaries and it is clear that American security in the 21st Century will be determined by the success of our response to forces that operate within as well as beyond our borders,"

We can see that the Americans have never considered their leadership so essential to navigate the shoals of the world’s new dangers and to capitalize on its opportunities. We can say that their strategy is going to be adequate to the challenges of Globalization.

The US elaborated its national security strategy which is tailored to: a) bolster America’s economic revitalization; b) enhance security with military forces that are ready to fight and with effective representation abroad; and c) promote democracy abroad.

Let us examine each one of these goals, which are mutually supportive since the line between domestic and foreign policies is disappearing. The US believes that they must revitalize their economy if they are to sustain their military forces, foreign initiatives and global influence, and that they must engage actively abroad if they are to open foreign markets and create jobs for their people.

The formulation of these goals was possible with the ending of the Cold War that has brought a reduction in the direct military and political threats facing the United States.

5.1 Bolstering America’s Economic Revitalization

The US developed the concept of economic security to bolster America’s economic revitalization. It means the ability of the "United States to protect its own economic prosperity and to shape the international economic environment to the advantage of most of the U.S. population. (...) It is the ability to protect or to advance U.S. economic interests in the face of events, developments, or actions that may threaten or block these interests. These challenges or obstacles may be foreign or domestic in origin, intentional or accidental, and the consequences of human or of natural forces."

Analyzing this report, we notice that the US wants to shape the international economic environment to its liking, by playing a major role in establishing the rules that govern international economic relations and by using economic means to influence the policies of other countries. Economic security also requires material resources to support an adequate military.

To pursue economic security, the U.S. wants to maintain the relative size of its economy. The U.S intends to continue to play a fundamental role in international economic matters since nations with large economies naturally enjoy greater influence in establishing the rules that govern international economic relations.

The U.S. has little confidence that increased governmental efforts to support particular industries will prove beneficial. Even when it seems clear that foreign actions are detrimental to US interests, the US response will not be necessarily to provide counterbalancing help to US industry in some other area seeking to simply balance or cancel out the effect of a foreign subsidy.

Economic security will also require maintenance of the industrial capability to design and to produce successive generations of technologically sophisticated weapons. The strategy will be to narrow the gap between military and commercial technology development efforts and to attract additional firms into supplying military needs. Developing sources of supply in friendly nations is another way that may reduce dependency on domestic monopolists and create additional opportunities for expanding production.

The US also believes that fixed assets in the country cannot be easily withdrawn by a foreign owner, and a foreign owner of US assets is in a very real sense hostage to US laws and policies. Foreign investment is welcome in order to bring superior foreign methods or processes, employment opportunities for workers and the increase of productivity.

More than making sure that the US economy is bigger, more robust, or faster growing than other economies, more than just assuring that US firms are dominant in important world markets, more than maintaining forces that are superior to those of any potential challengers; the US seek s ways to minimize international instability.

Maintaining access to foreign markets, creating a stable international financial environment, promoting market-oriented economic policies and maintaining a functioning international commercial and financial infrastructure are going to be the policies that the US has chosen to minimize international instability.

With these policies, the US will seek to strengthen international cooperation on trade matters, to make continuous and tangible progress toward expanding world trade, and to ensure that international trade is governed by understandable and predictable rules rather than by changeable rules of national governments.

To control the large and unpredictable international capital movements that cause exchange-rate instability, the US intends to increase cooperation among policymakers in the world’s industrialized economies which will necessarily involve some loss of national freedom and sovereignty. This will be justified in order to achieve national economic security since the US has the power to make the rules.

The US policy-makers also believe that, at least, for the immediate future, US economic security will require continued support of the official multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that seek to fill gaps in private credit markets and to encourage market-oriented solutions to economic problems in developing and reforming economies.

Concepts such as solidarity and nationalism that seem to be old-fashioned, are being reinforced by US policy-makers since they are trying to promote a domestic distribution of income and economic well-being in order to form a unified populace with a common understanding of national interests and capable of standing together in the face of foreign challenges.

5.2 Enhancing Security With Military Forces

In this post-Cold War period, military power is, organizationally, a secondary player in the arena, although military instruments may be used to generate economic effects. Economic instruments will be the main players. Economic sanctions, embargoes, freezing of financial assets, and restricting access to US markets will be initially used to influence the behavior of other countries when American interests are at stake.

However, military instruments still have a important role in this new period that requires careful coordination of economic and military for the effective employment of both. The US will retain the military power to underwrite their political and economic commitments credibly.

The U.S defines its military tasks as follows: a) Deterring and defeating aggression in Major Regional Conflicts; b) Providing a credible overseas presence; c) Countering weapons of main destruction; d) contributing to Multilateral Peace Operations; and d) Supporting counterterrorism efforts, fighting drug trafficking and other National Security Objectives.

This military policy forecasts that American forces must be able to help offset the military power of regional states with interests opposed to those of the United States and its allies. To do that, US forces must also be deployed or stationed in key overseas regions in peacetime to deter aggression and advance US strategic interests.

Such overseas presence demonstrates America’s commitment to its allies and friends, underwrites regional stability, ensures familiarity with overseas operating environments, promotes combined training among the forces of friendly countries and provides timely initial response capabilities.

The US will also devote great efforts to deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, but, at the same time, this country will improve its capability to deter, defend against and prevent the use of such weapons and protect Americans against their effects.

The US will be prepared to participate in multilateral efforts to resolve regional conflicts and bolster new democratic governments, but only if its interests call for it. At the end of the Cold War, this condition was not so clear, but nowadays, the US national interests are above any value that defends a universal government or a universal welfare.

In other words: "We can only engage actively abroad if the American people and the Congress are willing to bear the cost of that leadership in dollars, in political energy and, at times, in lives. In a democracy, the foreign policy of the nation must serve the needs of the people."

Thus, forces must be ready to participate in peacekeeping, peace enforcement and other operations, but the US military forces will no longer be the police of the world if US interests are not at stake. Of course, if the US becomes more powerful relative to other countries, as its strategy intends, American interventions will occur more frequently.

Finally, all kinds of faceless threatens will be included in the task of supporting countertrrorism efforts, fighting drug trafficking and other national security objectives. These are transnational threats. While the other missions outlined above will remain the primary determinants of the US general purpose and nuclear force structure, US military forces and assets will also be called upon to perform these other important missions.

Some of these will be accomplished by conventional forces fielded primarily for theater operations. Often, however, these missions will call for specialized units and capabilities.

A flexible strategy is being employed to reshape the US Armed Forces. Although it will maintain important military forces and assets abroad, the volume cannot be at the same level that it was during the Cold War period.

The US will have the greatest part of its troops in its own territory. The US forces will be projected where they will be necessary and they should be able to fight in any region even during a peace time period and to work together with their ally Armed Forces.

We can summarize that US military policy-makers will tend to follow some of these ten commandments below to reshape US military policy:

a) The US can only engage actively abroad if the American people and the Congress are willing to bear the cost;

b) The survival of the nation by guarding against nuclear annihilation will not be forgotten;

c) Maintenance of the nuclear shield abroad in order to prevent US allies from falling victim to nuclear attack;

d) While nuclear defenses are vital, US non-nuclear conventional forces have become the true strategic forces of the United States, the forces capable of achieving US goals and objectives;

e) The US will scare its enemies without bankrupting the nation;

f) The US will try to assure that the US can fight two regional wars nearly simultaneously;

g) Peacekeeping will be kept peripheral;

h) American interests will be the reason to fight;

i) The US will try to maintain escalation dominance in order to convince its adversaries that they cannot flaunt the US with impunity; and

j) Past military theory, philosophy and experience cannot be forgotten.

5.3 Promoting Democracy Abroad

The last goal of American national security strategy of engagement and enlargement, but not the lest important, is to promote democracy abroad.

Working with new democracies committed to free markets and respect for human rights is a key part of American national security strategy. The long-term goal is a world in which each of the major powers is democratic, with many other nations joining the community of market democracies as well.

"The core of our strategy is to help democracy and free-markets expand and survive in other places where we have the strongest security concerns and where we can make the greatest difference. This is not a democratic crusade; it is a pragmatic commitment to see freedom take hold where that will help us most. Thus, we must target our effort to assist states that affect our strategic interests, such as those with large economies, critical locations, nuclear weapons or the potential to generate refugee flows into our own nation or into key friends and allies."

As we have already said, the US believes that democratic states are less likely to threaten its interests and more likely to cooperate with the United States to meet security threats and promote free trade and sustainable growth

The US believes that it can influence countries’ policies if they are discussed freely. Lobbies could not alter secret policies and the US would not be warned of the danger with sufficient time.

We are not against democracy since it seem to be the best way to solve social disputes, but we cannot forget that it is more difficult to develop national projects that intend to increase military and economic power compared to other states.

In fact, the US wants to increase its relative power. Every country will be better off with free markets, but the US will tend to gain much more than others since it has already achieved leadership in great part of the existing products. We can expect more American military and economic hegemony in the future, especeally when we consider the relationship with Latin America.

In the US case, market globalization does not weaken the state. It is the main center of capitalism and it joins all the others in a center of economic power. In any way all the income of the world crosses its borders and generates jobs, taxes, knowledge and information in its territory.

The US does not want to fight against the forces of globalization, but wants to continue to be the main center of power in order to coordinate these forces in an advantageous form. It will use its military and economic powers to guarantee this present situation.


The world scenario and the studied regional consequences of it related to military policy will allow us to analyze the Brazilian situation in this section.

Brazil faces the same influences that all other Latin American countries face: a) the end of the hemispheric security paradigm that existed during the Cold War; b) the political power of the Armed Forces was diminished with the democratization of society; and c) the redefinition of US hegemony. This country bolsters the liberalization of markets and the weakening of the investment power of states.

A strong ideological component arrived in Brazil and has been defending the end of the nation-state. The Kantian universal ideal is not a reality even in Europe, but it is already seen as irreversible in Brazil. Thus, the national Armed Forces would lose their meaning since the collapse of Soviet military power signaled the end of the last threat.

However, this is not true. We could see that even Russia and other former Soviet countries are not integrated into this propagated safe world. It is also true that the likelihood of a new Russian military threat is limited to Europe and we cannot deny this important change in the so-called new world order.

However, the future social and political stability of Russia and other countries will determine if military force will become secondary in a traditional warlike continent.

Nationalisms are still alive. Independent of any Russian threat, the Western European countries are trying to integrate their Armed Forces in order to avoid the rebirth of old nationalisms that could feel themselves free to develop old projects and threaten European security.

Nationalisms are being reborn in Eastern Europe. It is very difficult to deal with security issues in that region. European policymakers face a dilemma: If they integrate their countries into NATO now, their instability can cross the boundaries or Russia will feel threatened. On the other hand, if these countries are abandoned to solve their problems by themselves, nationalist conflicts can worsen and will cross the boundaries anyway.

Classical territorial conflicts between countries are not so important in that region. The real threats are the uncontrollable migratory flows of people that are initiated by nationalistic conflicts.

Brazil also has challenges for its security that we classified as faceless in the same way as these migrations in Europe. Drug trafficking and the aggressions to the natural environment are two examples.

Drug trafficking will have to be considered in the Amazon defense strategy. Eve if the Armed Forces should not be the main institution to deal with this issue, society cannot avoid involving them.

New creative policies must integrate military policy with other parts of the Government in order to combat this social disease. As it is a transnational threat, Brazil can be pressured to work on this issue inside its territory. It will be better if Brazil avoids these pressures or other direct interventions.

Brazilian policymakers will have to deal with Amazon environmental problems in a similar way. The Armed Forces should work together with other ministries and agencies. A rational development of Amazon will also avoid external interventions or undesirable pressures from multilateral organizations that are mainly dominated by developed countries.

Brazil does not need to have its sovereignty at stake if public policies, even the military policy, include environmental issues as a real value for Brazilian security.

As Latin America is not a zone of peace yet, the classic defense cannot be forgetten. Brazil does not have any serious conflict with its neighbors and the Armed Forces should assure that this situation continues.

Brazil has another unlikely threat, but much more dangerous: the expansion of American interventions in South America by using flexible military instruments instead of only economic ones. Environmental issues and drug trafficking can be used to justify these interventions in order to achieve other hidden aims.

We discussed that modern weapons suffer a kind of Malthusian effect. The Brazilian military policy will have to take this into consideration.

We suggest that the Army should be concentrated in the Amazon since southern boundaries are almost near a zone of peace with MERCOSUR integration. Well-trained soldiers to fight in the difficult geography of the region will be more efficient and less expensive than modern weapons. The US does not want to face a new Vietnam. This strategy will help to dissuade military interventions.

Modern and expensive technologies should be used by Navy and Air Force within Brazilian financial possibilities in order to avoid the approximation of foreign troops. The Ministry of Defense must be put on the discussion table in order to create and maintain this new integrated military policy.

Brazil is a huge country and has all the conditions to develop its potential and be a important world leader. But, the end of the nation-state cannot be seen as an immediate fact.

It is too early to make such a strong affirmation at a moment that the United States is trying to use globalization to strengthen the state as an important actor in the new world order instead of weakening it.

On the other hand, Brazil cannot avoid being a important protagonist of the hemispheric trade integration. This must be done, but US hegemonic power cannot increase in an unfair proportion.

Brazil should maintain a minimum of classical military power in order to avoid a sudden loss of its sovereignty before a zone of security, justice and universal prosperity has been created in the hemisphere.

History has its own pace. The real world does not follow human ideas with the same velocity. A zone of peace is a ideal that cannot happen. Thus, while territorial sovereignty and nationalism are still important, Brazil must develop a military policy with two basic aims: a) the maintenance of a classic defense for a nation-state; and b) the creation of new transnational roles to attend the gradual and not assured implementation of a zone of peace in the hemisphere.

We cannot deny that globalization is a real phenomenon that is speeding up the changes. A developing nation-state like Brazil does not have the same economic power and flexibility that it had in the past. Thus, Brazil should integrate its military policy with other policies in order to rationalize rare resources until this new scenario has been defined.


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