Revista de Sociologia e Política
Print version ISSN 0104-4478
MARQUES, Adriana A.. Brazilian strategic conceptions within the post-Cold War international context. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2003, n.20, pp. 69-85. ISSN 0104-4478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-44782003000100007.
This article analyzes the process by which, during the first decade of the 1990s, Brazil's strategic conceptions were reformulated, in light of significant changes that had taken place in terms of national and international political contexts. At the international level, the substitution of East-West conflicts for North-South tensions, as well as the cooling off of rivalries among Southern cone countries (Brazil/Argentina/Uruguay) imposed fundamental changes in the way the threats around which Brazilian national defense is organized were perceived. Furthermore, in the national arena, in the aftermath of the dictatorship the Brazilian military was obliged to accept not only the Parliament but also sectors of organized civil society as interlocutors. In this new juncture, for the first time since the days of the Empire, perceptions of threats to the security of the Brazilian State come from the northern borders of the country, the Amazon region in particular. This new context imposed a series of conditions upon the political and institutional autonomy of the Brazilian Armed Forces; nonetheless, the "return to the barracks" did not necessarily mean the end of military autonomy. In fact, the military no longer has political autonomy, but does maintain a high level of institutional autonomy that needs to be reconsidered by groups in leadership positions and by organized civil society. National Defense Policy is the first step in the direction of limiting such autonomy; nonetheless, it is up to the Ministry of Defense , as organ that implements this Policy, to modify and articulate conceptions of strategy that have emerged historically in a context of autonomy.
Keywords : Brazil; the military; national defense; strategic doctrines.