The geopolitics issue in brazil


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The geopolitics issue in brazil

  1. 1. 1 THE GEOPOLITICS ISSUE IN BRAZIL Fernando Alcoforado * Geopolitics is the science that defines power relations inside the national state and externally. Geopolitics is a science that is closely related to conflicts and wars with these one expression resulted of power politics between states and their ambitions. Geopolitics is the discipline that seeks to understand the interrelationships between national political power and geographic space. Geopolitics is mainly focused on the study of power relations between national states and the scene that develops as a result of these relations in military and international scenario.In the nineteenth century was the establishment of methodologies related to geopolitics, when the German geographer Friedrich Ratzel formulated key concepts for real approach to international geopolitics in his book entitled Antropogeografia – Fundamentos da aplicação da geografia à história (Anthropogeography - Fundamentals of application of geography to history) when he argued that the primary function of the State is to expand and defend national territory. When conceptualizing Geopolitics, Ratzel expounded the concept of mobility across national borders, which are directly related to the ability of the State to provide its expansion or maintenance through its political and military power. Geopolitics is, in brief, the science which arises from the need to explain the birth, rise and fall of political powers and their influence in the political, economic and global strategic level, conducting analysis of the current situation, future trends of historical, economic and social development of the country and the world and international relations seeking to trace plausible scenarios regarding the future of the country and international relations upon which enable the construction of a desired future for the nation, in addition to analyzing the core of policy decisions and strategies adopted by nation states around the world. In short, Geopolitics deals mainly with power relations between national states in which stands out the policy of national defense against the threat of external aggression. The defense policy of Brazil was dramatically changed with the end of military rule. During the military dictatorship has used the doctrine of national security who led the Brazilian government's actions from 1964 until 1985 when the end of the military regime occurred. This doctrine was a totalitarian proposal, which did not involve conflict, divergence, diversity. The National Security Doctrine adopted this design and gave him a military character, in which the military would be responsible for the harmonious functioning of Brazilian society. The National Security Doctrine saw the world divided into two parts, a capitalist and democratic under the leadership of the United States and other communist, under the leadership of the Soviet Union. The external enemy was the Soviet Union and all the socialist countries in the world and the internal enemy was every citizen and civil society who opposed the military regime organizations. After the military dictatorship, with the democratization of Brazil, the public policies of the Brazilian government became more receptive to indigenous and the environment issues abandoning the paradigms of "security and development" of the National Security Doctrine. Today, even the Brazilian army starts to focus on their strategies in the Amazon Region almost exclusively from the perspective of the occupation of the border strip, including reinvigorating the logical border-limits that marked the colonial period. In addition to taking into account indigenous and environmental issues in their policies, the Brazilian government has been lenient in defense of national integrity
  2. 2. 2 against external threats after the military dictatorship in approving the Convention 169 of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) whose text requires Brazil to admit the transfer of its sovereignty over indigenous areas, which means no longer to lost control over about 20% of the country. By signing the ILO Convention 169, the Brazilian government strengthens the application of sanctions by the UN against Brazil in the case of violation of the rights of indigenous peoples living in Brazil Under the guise of humanitarian military intervention of the United Nations or any of members of the Security Council may occur to seize mineral and and biodiversity existing in the Amazon in Brazil as has happened in Iraq and Libya when the Western powers took possession of the oil fields. The end of the Soviet Union and the communist threat, the U.S. military preeminence in the world and the opening of the Brazilian economy with the neoliberal model created the false perception that it would not be necessary to adopt an effective national defense policy. The Brazilian National Defense Strategy (END) was approved by the Presidency of the Brazilian Republic on September 9, 2008. She has three structural axes: the first, concerning the organization of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), setting guidelines and specific strategies for each of the services, as well as on the relationship between them; the second axis deals with the restructuring Brazilian arms industry, aiming at the restructuring of the armed forces of the country has a decisive contribution of the national domain technologies; and finally, the last structural axis, is the composition of the Armed Forces and compulsory military service [See Article A Estratégia Nacional de Defesa e a Reorganização e Transformação das Forças Armadas (The National Defense Strategy and Reorganization and Transformation of the Armed Forces) of Eliezer Risso de Oliveira posted on the website <http:/ / internet->]. The major concerns in the field of defense are in the north and west of the country and in the South Atlantic and in regions with the highest population concentrations and the largest industrial parks in the country. It is for the Navy act to control and policing of maritime areas to prevent the concentration of enemy forces in Brazilian territorial sea, prevent the occupation of the Amazon region, which holds abundant mineral resources, vast water resources and huge potential of biodiversity, by foreign powers , protect oil rigs where is the pre-salt (in the range from Vitória to Santos located in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction) and the lines of communication, and be present in large river basins of the Amazon River to the north and the Paraguay and Paraná rivers to the south. The Army must relocate their effective for the center of the country to facilitate their movements in any direction, maximizing the speed of response in case of aggression. Moreover, the presence will be increased from three forces in the border areas. The Amazon is one of the priorities of the National Defense Strategy for the reasons described above. Due to its territorial vastness, the END proposes to strengthen logistics capacity in the region, to ensure mobility in any circumstance. Regarding the national industry of defense materials, the END search enable it in order to conquer this technological autonomy needed to provide national needs and compete in foreign markets in order to increase its production scale. The National Defense Strategy envisages the development of potential military mobilization and national levels in order to ensure deterrence and operational capabilities of the Armed Forces. The
  3. 3. 3 compulsory military service is considered the condition to be able to mobilize the Brazilian people in defense of national sovereignty. The END traces twenty-three guidelines that should guide the development of defense policy in Brazil in the coming years. These guidelines address the monitoring and control of borders and territorial waters of Brazil, highlighting the ability to respond quickly to any threat or aggression through strategic mobility. Another important guideline is about strengthening three sectors of strategic importance, the space, the cyber and nuclear, supported by the fact that the development of these sectors enables the integration of operations of the three forces without dependence on foreign technology. Encourage the integration of South America is another priority for the Brazilian defense. This integration will promote military cooperation and regional integration of the defense industrial bases. The creation of the South American Defense will be encouraged. In the formulation of the national defense, it appears, however, as weakness, lack of strategies to promote economic and social development of Brazil. The document of the END itself makes clear that the national defense strategy is inseparable from the national development strategy, claiming that one reinforces the other. In this sense, to strengthen the END, the Brazilian government should draw up a national development plan that, among the national development strategies, establish lines of action to eliminate the deficiencies to eliminate the deficiencies related to education and health, transportation infrastructure (roads, railways, ports and airports), the low availability of own resources for investment by the government, the dependence external capital, technological dependence and low national competitiveness of the Brazilian economy to promote development of the country. It should be noted that the absence of a national development plan and the failure to eliminate deficiencies described above can contribute to the aggravation of social tensions in Brazil committing, in consequence, the social cohesion necessary for homeland defense against external aggression. Another weakness of the National Defense Strategy is the fact that they had not been proposed strategies for the effective use of the potential of natural resources in the country, the strengthening of the Brazilian market with the adoption of effective policies on income distribution and import substitution to promote the growth of Brazilian industry, avoiding de-industrialization of Brazil and thus promote the development of the Brazilian economy. Should also be outlined strategies for integrating the Brazilian economy with the countries of South America and Africa. Finally, another weakness in the formulation of defense strategy in Brazil is the lack of global scenarios on possible international conflicts, as is the case of conflict between the United States and China, Israel and Palestine and Israel and Iran, among others, and its impacts on Brazil and the corresponding military and diplomatic strategies to be adopted by the country. Existing wealth in the Amazon in terms of huge water resources, mineral resources and biodiversity resources can constitute sources of conflict between Brazil and the Great Powers in the future. This is due to the greed of these resources by the major powers at the prospect of their scarcity up to half of the XXI Century. The threats to the Amazon based on the view that the wars of the twenty-first century will have as fulcrum the battle for natural resources which tend to deplete. The development model of the world economy is reaching its limits. With the lack of natural resources necessary for survival and the absence of a global governance to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations, humanity tends to a regression to barbarism and cruel behavior.
  4. 4. 4 Importantly, the wars of invasion should be multiplied with the objective of achieving natural resources worldwide. We must not forget that the conflict between the belligerent countries in the Middle East and aggression of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union during World War II occurred as a fulcrum with the struggle for control of existing oil reserves there. The Western powers did recently in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to seize oil and mineral resources existing there was not much different from that in the past, the Spaniards did to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas in search of gold in the Americas in the sixteenth century. Iraq and Libya, the objective was clear: to appropriate the oil. Faced with the prospect of oil shortages in the world, an area that can be the object of lust by the great powers in the future is that covered by the Pre-salt in Brazil. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Western powers also were aimed, beyond the pursuit of Bin Laden, the conquest of the vast existing mineral reserves there. The previously unknown deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical metals for industry, such as lithium and niobium, are so great that Afghanistan could in the future become one of the most important mining centers in the world. The water is also turning into a source of wars due to international competition for water resources. The war between Israelis and Palestinians is also a war by the waters of the Jordan River that are used by Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the West Bank. In the Americas, there is the conflict between the United States and Mexico by the water of the Colorado River that has intensified in recent years. The Brahmaputra River has caused great tension between India and China and can generate major conflict between two of the largest armies in the world. Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia are in conflict by the use of the Nile River. The scarcity of water in the world is already causing tankers stealing water from the Amazon to bring the Outside [See the article entitled Navios- tanques estão roubando água da Amazônia para levar para o Exterior (Tankers are stealing water from the Amazon to bring the Outside) posted on the website <http:/ />). All facts reported above point towards that Amazon may be the object of lust of the major powers to have access to natural resources that exist. The fact of the Legal Amazon to be the largest mineral province in the world, estimated at 7 trillion dollar also contributes so she can become the object of intervention of major powers in the future. The greed of the Amazon has been expressed by several international personalities like the then French President François Mitterrand, the U.S. president, George Bush (father), and President Mikhail Gorbachev of the former Soviet Union back in 1989 and also by General Patrick Hishes, head of the Central Organ of the U.S. Armed Forces Information that threatened that if Brazil would jeopardize the environment of the United States with the misuse of the Amazon, would be ready to stop this process immediately. Also Pascal Lamy, WTO chairman, said at the time that Amazon should be considered global public good and submitted to the management of the international community. Given the importance of the preservation of the Amazon Rainforest in combating global climate change, its destruction would characterize the incompetence of the Brazilian government in their maintenance, a fact that could justify an international military intervention in the future with the occupation of the Amazon region by the major powers. Another justification for international military intervention under the pretext of human rights, would be the threat to the existence of indigenous peoples living in it. The
  5. 5. 5 international military intervention would pave the way also for the great powers take possession of water, minerals and existing biodiversity resources in the Amazon region. To prevent this scenario from happening, it is necessary that the Brazilian government will implement a policy of development of the Amazon region as having one of the fundamental prerequisites to ensure the preservation of the Amazon rainforest that is under threat of destruction due to deforestation and fires resulting from the expansion of agriculture and timber activity, the mining that has left a legacy of poverty and serious social and environmental impacts, the implementation of roads that see causing major environmental impacts and whose planned hydroelectric reservoirs will cause many negative environmental impacts that its construction is not recommended. For Brazil to exercise its sovereignty and promote the development of the region is imperative to catalyst, the national will, with significant presence of the Brazilian State by the armed forces and other agents and public bodies. To maintain its sovereignty in the Amazon, Brazil will have to occupy the region and rationally exploit their wealth, with adequate preservation of environmental technology. Success in territorial defense of the Amazon requires essential support of the Amazonian population which requires the adoption of a development policy that contributes to the rational use of natural resources in the Amazon to benefit the people residing therein. This means that the occupation of the Brazilian Armed Forces must be linked to regional development policy. * Fernando Alcoforado , member of the Bahia Academy of Education, engineer and doctor of Territorial Planning and Regional Development from the University of Barcelona, a university professor and consultant in strategic planning, business planning, regional planning and planning of energy systems, is the author of Globalização (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1997), De Collor a FHC- O Brasil e a Nova (Des)ordem Mundial (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 1998), Um Projeto para o Brasil (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2000), Os condicionantes do desenvolvimento do Estado da Bahia (Tese de doutorado. Universidade de Barcelona,, 2003), Globalização e Desenvolvimento (Editora Nobel, São Paulo, 2006), Bahia- Desenvolvimento do Século XVI ao Século XX e Objetivos Estratégicos na Era Contemporânea (EGBA, Salvador, 2008), The Necessary Conditions of the Economic and Social Development-The Case of the State of Bahia (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG, Saarbrücken, Germany, 2010), Aquecimento Global e Catástrofe Planetária (P&A Gráfica e Editora, Salvador, 2010), Amazônia Sustentável- Para o progresso do Brasil e combate ao aquecimento global (Viena- Editora e Gráfica, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, 2011) and Os Fatores Condicionantes do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (Editora CRV, Curitiba, 2012), among others.