Print version ISSN 0102-8529
PROENCA JUNIOR, Domício. Armed forces... for what? For this. Contexto int. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.2, pp. 333-373. ISSN 0102-8529. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-85292011000200004.
This article offers a structural answer to the question: what are Brazil's armed forces for? This leads to the appreciation of Brazil's strategic and domestic contexts of the use of armed force. It considers the constitutional imperatives and the terms of international agreements that curtail Brazilian alternatives. It argues that Brazil has only three concrete tasks for its armed forces: the defense of its territory, the participation in international missions, and the guarantee of law and order, being constrained further to the use of conventional weapons. It answers the question it began with as follows: Brazil's armed forces exist to sustain the capacity of carrying out these tasks over time and at any time. It concludes that how and how well a Brazilian defense policy sustains this capacity are the paramount criteria for its conception, management and evaluation.
Keywords : Armed Forces; National Defense; Public Security; Strategic Studies.