The Brazilian Minister of Defense: “We Are Going to Increase Our Resources for National Defense”
Recently, Brazil became the 6th largest economy and economic growth provides means for enhancing defense capabilities and global presence in dealing with defense.
Brazil will boost its military presence in the Amazon region to protect its huge natural resources from any external threat, Defense Minister Celso Amorim told the Senate Thursday.
“The commitment to the defense of the Amazon is fundamental. Navy, Air Force, all services will boost their presence in the Amazon in the next few years,” he said without giving further details.
Amorim said Brazil did not feel threatened by any neighboring country but added:
“We cannot rule out that some power from outside the region” may covet the natural resources of the Amazon, the planet’s largest rainforest and its main source of fresh water.
“We are working on a plan to deploy (security) forces and the Amazon plays a very important role. It’s the most vulnerable part of our country,” Amorim said.
“We have a wealth of resources which can make us the target of adventures,”
And in another recent piece, the Minister was noted to underscore that
Brazil will have to gradually increase its expenses on defense to the average of the other original members of the Brics – India, China and Russia – in order to make its defense structure more compatible to its new importance on the world stage. The advice was given on Thursday (26) by the minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, during a public hearing held at the Committee on External Relations and National Defense.
Despite recognizing the government’s efforts to increase investments in the Army modernization, the minister mentioned data from a Swedish institute of international relations to compare the Brazilian situation with other emerging nations. He informed that, while Brazil’s expenses on defense are limited to 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the average of the original Brics – without South Africa, recently included country – reaches 2.3% of the GDP.
“If we want to speak as one of the Brics, our defense budget will have to reach their average budgets. This is not only a matter of government, but also of the society, which has to understand that those investments are important,” Amorim stated.
With the objective of showing the new Brazilian role in the world, the minister compared the meeting he had in Brasilia with former United States Secretary of Defense William Perry, 18 years ago, when he was the minister of External Relations, with the meeting with the current United States Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, a few days ago.
“When I welcomed Perry, it was said that Brazil did not have to develop its defense potential because there was a superpower which would take care of everything. Our Army would be responsible only for combating drug trafficking and organized crime.
Nowadays the point of view is completely different.
The current secretary said that, in the contemporary world, other countries need to be able to face defense challenges,” Amorim reported.
Credit this source for the photo as well.
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