Brazil and the U.S. Strengthen Ties
Earlier this year, Brazil and the United States signed a com- prehensive Defense Coopera- tion Agreement, or DCA, designed to strengthen military ties between the two countries. This is the first major bilateral military cooperation agreement between Brazil and the U.S. since 1977.
The DCA was signed by Brazil- ian Minister of Defense Nelson Jobim and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who declared during a news conference in April that “this agreement will lead to a deepening of U.S.-Brazil defense cooperation at all levels,” adding that it offers “a transparent, positive model for en- gagement throughout the Americas.”
Defense Minister Jobim, in a quote for Diálogo magazine, stated: “The defense cooperation agree- ment we signed with the United States in April represented one more step in the process of understand- ing we have been engaged in with the Americans for a long time. The majority of the activities foreseen in the document already take place between the Brazilian and American forces. But now this relationship will be strengthened through government policies, instead of through isolated forces. With that, the understand- ings gain institutional substance and weight. And we should highlight how naturally it was received by the other South American nations, all of which were previously informed of our understandings. This is the kind of relationship that we want to consoli- date in our region, an atmosphere of confidence and cooperation between our countries, with sovereignty and maturity. And, by further strengthen- ing our relationship with the United States in the defense area, we show by our actions that we want this spirit of cooperation to extend to our day-today relationships with other friendly nations.”
As the two most populous democracies in the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Brazil enjoy an increasingly close bilateral relationship, including in the area of defense. The DCA will enable U.S.-Brazil defense cooperation to expand into new areas of mutual interest.
Examples of cooperation promoted in the DCA:
- Cooperation in the fields of research and development, logistics support, technology security and the acquisition of defense products and services.
- Information exchanges on topics such as operational experiences, defense technology and international peacekeeping operations.
- Combined military training and education and joint military exercises.
- Collaboration relating to military systems and equipment.
- Exchanges of instructors and students from defense institutions.
- Naval ship visits.
- Commercial initiatives related to defense matters.
The agreement includes clauses covering cooperation in the fields of research and development, logistics support, technology security and the acquisition of defense products and services; information exchanges on operational experiences, defense technology and international peacekeeping operations; combined military train- ing and education and joint military exercises; exchanges of instructors and students from defense institutions; naval ship visits; and commercial initiatives related to defense matters.
According to the U.S. Department of State, “The United States seeks partnership with the other nations in the Americas to address the complex security challenges that all our countries face. The strengthening of U.S.-Brazil defense cooperation at the strategic, operational and tactical levels will enable the two countries, and their neighbors, to come closer to achieving this goal. The signing of the DCA reflects the many national and international security interests shared by both countries.”