There are many naïve people around the world who think that a country can be a friend of another country, when in reality, in the words of Charles de Gaulle, “in international relations, France has no friends, only interests.”
Today we are living in a period that could be considered one of the biggest historical turning points in world history: a new world order is emerging from the collapsing old systems of the 20th century.
The British Empire died a slow death in the first part of the 20th century, then the Soviet Union Empire collapsed in 1991, and by the summer of 2008 the United States economic and financial system collapsed, bringing to an end the concept of the world having only one or two superpowers.
But since that time the US economy and financial system has been on intensive care and is being kept alive by massive US government intervention, accounting changes to hide losses, by all kinds of massive US government guarantees, and above everything else, because of the special status the US dollar plays in the international monetary system as the main foreign reserve currency.
If the US dollar was not the main foreign reserve currency, then the US economy would have died a sudden death in 2008 just like the Soviet Union did in 1991.
For all practical purposes the US dollar has reached the end of the line as the main foreign reserve currency. Because the world is being restructured as never before in such a short time, in the coming years it does not make sense for the US dollar to continue to play the same role it has been playing for the last 60 years in the international monetary system.
The US economic and financial system is a very mature system, and aging very fast, and on top of that, the bills related to the baby boomer generation are now due. The US economy at all levels is in deep trouble with the finances of its states in terrible shape and the finances of the US government running massive budget deficits year after year.
The private sector depends more and more on business generated by the US government budget including expenditures in the area of defense spending, medicare, and so on…
The old symbols of American capitalism have been dying one after another: General Motors, Chrysler, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and now the latest sign of US decline, a last nail in the coffin of American prestige and leadership, NASA, the symbol of US space exploration is laying off about 7,000 employees, and at the same time placing the United States in a very humiliating position in having to depend on the Russians for a ride to the US space station from now on.
When we take into consideration that the next world war will be fought from space, it does not look like a smart move for the US government to start outsourcing space exploration and development to the private sector. That same way of thinking could also replace the US Army and outsource all military responsibilities to a private military company, such as Blackwater, and from that point on the US would use only mercenaries to defend the old USA.
In the last 30 years the US economy and financial system has been reduced to: trading existing assets, Wall Street financial games with very little benefit to the actual US economy, and the military industrial complex, which has become the most important piece of the US war economy. And other than Apple corporation, the best that American innovation, imagination, and ingenuity can create today are companies such as Google, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Brazil and the Future
Brazilians need to keep in mind that today Brazil is a major target for other countries that are trying to get control of the natural resources from around the world, and Brazil has to protect its extensive natural resources from these predators.
I wonder if the Soviet Union was still around in 1999, would NATO have had the guts to bomb Serbia into little pieces and destroy the infrastructure of that country? Brazilians need to open their eyes, mainly now after what has been happening in Libya, with NATO bombing the country to gain control of its natural resources, and also to pillage its gold reserves, and Libyan assets in banks in Europe and in the United States.
Brazil needs to develop a new defense system to help protect itself from any attack from foreigners – not only to defend Brazil from similar military attacks like what happened in Serbia, in Iraq, and what is happening in Libya today, but also be prepared against a currency and economic war, as well as cyberwarfare.
Some Brazilians are under the illusion that the choices the Brazilian government has in where it should spend money are in education or in military spending, and most Brazilians would choose education.
But the reality is without a strong military your country would fall prey to a predator which would pillage the assets of the weak country, having no interest in developing the educational system of a competitor and its economy, and they would try to keep that country down as much as they could get away with.
On the other hand, the development of a strong military places your country in a stronger position among the elite countries, and defense spending generates a lot of benefits to the economy regarding innovation, new technologies that eventually are adopted by the private sector, helps fund defense research centers at local universities, and creates a lot of high paying jobs in such an economy.
The Wrong Brazilian Defense Strategy
In September 2009 Defense-Aerospace.com reported: “It was announced that the Brazilian government would buy 36 Rafale combat aircraft from the French company Dassault Aviation. The Rafale deal was valued by French government sources at 5 billion euros, excluding the aircraft’s weapons which will add another billion euros or so.
When added to contracts for the licence-production of 50 Eurocopter EC-725 helicopters, of four Scorpene diesel-electric submarines, of a nuclear-powered attack submarine and of related infrastructure projects, the Rafale deal boosts the value of French weapons ordered by Brazil to over 12 billion euros (approximately US$ 17.1 billion).”
On March 20, 2011, Reuters reported: “President Barack Obama made a strong pitch for the Boeing F-18 jet fighter in a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, but she did not indicate if her government had decided to buy the U.S.-made plane, the White House said on Sunday.
Brazil is weighing a multi-billion dollar bid to modernize its air force, and Obama has made promoting exports to boost U.S. jobs back home a central part of his trip to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.
“President Obama underscored that the F-18 is the best plane on offer and that the technology transfer package is equivalent to the packages that are offered to partners and allies around the world,” said Restrepo, Obama’s top Latin American adviser.
One factor in Brazil’s decision will be Washington’s willingness to authorize transfers of proprietary technology, which would help Brazil develop its own defense industry.
…The Brazilian contract will likely be worth much more than the initial bids, which have been reported by Brazilian media to be in a US$4-US$6 billion range. Maintenance contracts will be lucrative, and Brazil could eventually buy more than 100 aircraft.”
On July 12, 2011, a UPI.com article said: “Rival defense manufacturers spent vast sums trying to secure it but a multibillion-dollar Brazilian contract for up to 100 fighter jets is unlikely to come up for government review until next year, with little indication of an early deal that suits priorities set by President Dilma Rousseff. Each of the key manufacturers in the race – Boeing Co., France’s Dassault and Sweden’s Saab – has had its hopes raised in the last two years.
The lobbying for the contract has involved government and state leaders at the highest levels, with even the king of Sweden at one point being considered as an intermediary.
The deal for an initial 30 of the projected 100 jets for the Brazilian air force inventory is worth more than US$ 4 billion but no confirmed figures have emerged from Brasília.
Aside from the price and relative efficiency of the competing aircraft, at issue is Brazil’s insistence on extensive transfer of technology as part of its overall strategy to start manufacturing a jet fighter of its own.
…Brazil has emerged as a major competitor for European and North American manufacturers of executive jets and smaller passenger aircraft, mainly the result of an extensive research and development program pursued without significant foreign help.
In 2009 France appeared to be the contender most likely to win the contract with Dassault’s Rafale jet fighter, an aircraft mainly deployed in France but that prospect vanished when former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva handed over power to Rousseff this year.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in March raised hopes that Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet might emerge as the new favorite but Rousseff’s administration cited budgetary constraints and issued the first of several postponements of a decision on the jet deal.
Saab’s modified and modernized Gripen NG – for New Generation – is a serious contender and uses the General Electric F414G engine, developed from the F/A-18E/F used on the Super Hornet’s engine.”
I thought that president Lula was going to close the deal with France before he left office in January 2011 for the purchase of the Rafale combat aircraft, but I am glad that Brazil has not finalized the deal with any company regarding the purchase of the fighter jets.
Now that Brazil has found a vast amount of oil along its shores, other countries have started coming out of the woodwork to position themselves directly or indirectly, to gain an advantage for themselves to control these immense natural resources.
Here is an example:
Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV)
In January 2010 Ciedesh.com reported: “In November, during President Shimon Peres’ state visit to Brazil, Israel and Brazil sealed a US$ 350 million deal for the supply of 14 Israeli Heron UAVs to several Brazilian law enforcement agencies.
That deal was completed weeks after a drug gang from a Rio de Janeiro favela shot down a police helicopter with a short range rocket.”
On April 21st, 2011 The Christian Science Monitor said: “Drones are an invaluable resource to aid investigators on the ground, analysts say. They can jam signals, locate enemy satellite dishes, spot drug plantations or cartel hideouts, and monitor a country’s own police force for corruption, says Inigo Guevara, a Latin America security researcher with Georgetown University.
Brazil’s first unmanned surveillance plane arrived from Israel in April 2011, but Brazil plans to eventually operate at least 15 of the unmanned planes.
From wikipedia.org: “Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a joint venture with Brazil’s Synergy Group to provide the conglomerate with drones.
Synergy Group is a South American conglomerate owned by Bolivian-born Germán Efromovich, an entrepreneur holding dual citizenship in Colombia and Brazil.”
On April 20, 2009 Israel Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (IAI) the largest aerospace and defense industry in Israel posted the following on their website:
“Yair Shamir, Chairman of the Board of Israel Aerospace Industries: “We Will be Active in Brazil and Other Latin American Countries in the Aerospace, Maritime, and Homeland Security Sectors”
The creation of the joint venture EAE in Brazil was confirmed by the Israel Aerospace Industries Board of Directors on March 30, 2009.
At a reception at the Latin American Aerospace and Defense Trade Show, which took place at the end of last week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the establishment of a joint company was announced by the Chairman of the Board of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Mr. Yair Shamir, and the President of Synergy Group (a leading South American corporation specializing in aerospace, shipyard, and oil industries), Mr. German Efromovich. The joint company will be called EAE Aerospace Engineering Ltd. The reception was attended by central civilian authorities and high-ranking officials from the Brazilian army.
Mr. Yair Shamir noted that: “The establishment of this company is a product of the fruitful, successful cooperative relationship between IAI and Synergy Group. EAE will be active in Brazil, as well as in other potential markets in Latin America, in the aerospace, maritime, and homeland security sectors.”
Mr. German Efromovich said: “The establishment of EAE with such a steadfast, experienced partner as IAI, will contribute to Synergy’s position as a leading force in the aerospace and defense industries in Brazil and in other Latin American countries.”
IAI’s pavilion at the trade show, which exhibited its advanced systems and products, was visited by the Brazilian minister of defense, Nelson Jobim, and the Head of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto, both of whom expressed their interest in IAI’s advanced technologies.
On March 30, 2009, the IAI Board of Directors, chaired by Yair Shamir, approved the establishment of the joint company with the Synergy Group Corporation (SGC), which acts in Latin American countries in the aerospace, energy, and maritime sectors.
The Brazilian joint company will offer its customers advanced systems, such as: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), multi-mission radars, inertial navigation systems, maritime platforms and systems, border and coastal defense systems, modernization upgrade and conversion services for civilian and military aircraft and vessels, and more.
“The joint company’s capabilities will stem from the combination of the technology and experience provided by IAI, with the entrepreneurial culture and local facilities provided by the Synergy Group in Brazil,” said Eduardo de Vasconcellos, head of business development in the aerospace and defense sector of Synergy.
EAE, which will be based upon strategic partnership, will support information and technology transfer, along with the co-development of projects with the Brazilian ministry of defense, the Brazilian Armed Forces and its research and development institutions, as well as academic institutions and other local companies. EAE will also broaden its scope to include strategic acquisitions of local companies in Brazil.
EAE will set up its offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, with initial industrial capabilities at Synergy’s shipyards and aerospace facilities. More facilities will be added in accordance with the growth of the company.”
In early April 2011, I was reading my copy of “The Economist” when an article caught my attention on page 69 the article: “High-tech warfare – Something wrong with our **** chips today – Kill switches are changing the conduct and politics of war.”
The article said: .”..The Internet and the growing complexity of electronic circuitry have made it much easier to install what are known as “kill switches” and “back doors,” which may disable, betray or blow up the devices in which they are installed. Chips can easily contain 2 billion transistors, leaving plenty of scope to design a few that operate secretly. Testing even a handful of them for anomalies requires weeks of work.
Kill switches and other remote controls are on the minds of Western governments pondering whether to send weapons such as sophisticated anti-tank missiles, normally tightly policed, to rebels in Libya. Keeping tabs on when and where they are fired will allay fears that they could end up in terrorist hands. Such efforts would not even need to be kept secret. A former CIA official says the rebels could be told: “Look, we’re going to give you this, but we want to be able to control it.”
…America worries about becoming the victim of kill switches itself. Six years ago a report by America’s Defense Science Board, an official advisory body, said “unauthorized design inclusions” in foreign-made chips could help an outside power gain a measure of control over critical American hardware.
Chips Off the Home Block
In response, America has launched schemes such as the Trusted Foundry Program, which certifies “secure, domestic” facilities for the manufacture of the most critical microchips. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a Pentagon outfit devoted to expanding the military’s technological abilities, will spend at least US$ 20 million this year on ways to identify rogue microchips. The Army Research Office is holding a closed conference on kill switches in mid-April.
Farinaz Koushanfar, a DARPA-funded expert at Texas’s Rice University, says microchip designers would like to be able to switch off their products “in the wild,” in case the contractors that make the chips produce some extra ones to sell on the sly. She designs “active hardware metering” chips that, in devices connected to the Internet, can remotely identify them and if necessary switch them off.
An obvious countermeasure is to keep critical defense equipment off the net. But that is only a partial solution. Chips can be designed to break down at a certain date. An innocent-looking component or even a bit of soldering can be a disguised antenna. When it receives the right radio signal, from, say, a mobile-phone network, aircraft or satellite, the device may blow up, shut down, or work differently.
Old-fashioned spying can reveal technological weaknesses too. Mr Lindahl says Sweden obtained detailed information on circuitry in a heat-seeking missile that at least one potential adversary might, in wartime, shoot at one of its eight C-130 Hercules military-transport planes. A slight but precise change in the ejection tempo of the decoy flares would direct those missiles towards the flame, not the aircraft.
Such tricks may be handy in dealing with unreliable allies as well as foes, but they can also hamper Western efforts to contain risk in unstable countries. Pakistan has blocked American efforts to safeguard its nuclear facilities. The country’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, cites fears that such measures will include secret remote controls to shut the nuclear program down. A European defense official says even video surveillance cameras can intercept or disrupt communications. To avoid such threats, Pakistani engineers laboriously disassemble foreign components and replicate them.
Wesley Clark, a retired general who once headed NATO’s forces, says that “rampant” fears of kill switches make American-backed defense co-operation agreements a harder sell. David Kay, a notable United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, bemoans “skepticism and paranoia.” You just can’t trust anybody these days, even in the weapons business.”
It is sad to see NASA, one of the symbols of United States leadership in space exploration to be in such a decline – NASA represented and was a showcase for the best in America innovation and technology.
With the last space shuttle flight, the United States is losing both its ability to fly people into space, and a major American symbol of prowess.
The last space shuttle flight arrived on Thursday, July 21, 2011, closing another era in the nation’s space program. After the shuttle fleet’s retirement when NASA astronauts need to go to the International Space Station (ISS) they will have to fly there on Russian Soyuz capsules, which Moscow charges over US$ 50 million per seat.
One day after the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed safely and closed NASA’s chapter on the shuttle program, the space agency began laying off thousands of workers. It’s expected as the shuttle program comes to an end that more than 9,000 shuttle workers will lose their jobs.
The “Kill Switches” change everything, and only fools for now on would buy any military armament from the usual suspects.
Why would anyone even consider buying military armament that could contain “kill switches” and “back doors,” which may disable, betray or blow up the devices in which they are installed? Chips can easily contain 2 billion transistors, leaving plenty of scope to design a few that operate secretly.
The Brazilian government has a great opportunity right now to build and fund its own defense and aerospace industry in Brazil, and leapfrog these industries into the future.
It’s becoming obvious that Brazil should not buy any armament from foreigners; Brazil needs to build its own defense and aerospace industries, and today Brazil can accomplish that goal very easily.
The Brazilian government should award a major long-term multibillion dollar contract to Embraer’s defense and aerospace subsidiary for them to develop and build a new line of fighter jets in Brazil, and drones for military use, as well as to catapult the Brazilian space program into the future.
The Brazilian government on its effort to building up large-scale defense companies in Brazil also should create joint ventures with companies such as Rheinmetall AG from Germany, or Alenia Aermacchi from Italy, and other defense industry contractors from Sweden, Switzerland, France, Iran and Japan.
Brazil will never find another opportunity like the one that is available today with NASA laying off thousands of highly qualified scientists and engineers who are specialized in the aerospace area and are ready to go to work immediately on these projects.
This kind of endeavor brings many benefits to the Brazilian economy such as high paying jobs, innovation, new technologies, and also shows that Brazil is serious about becoming one of the leading nations in the 21st century.
The fast development of a state-of-the-art defense and aerospace industry in Brazil has become a priority for Brazil to go up to the next level and become one of the leading nations in the 21st century.
Brazilians need to keep in mind that in the 1980’s Saddam Hussein was considered to be a close ally of the United States, and by the 1990’s the U.S. was waging war against Iraq. The United States followed that event with another invasion of Iraq in 2003, and that war still going on today with no end in sight.
Today more than ever before a country has to be ready to defend its citizens from any type of warfare including 1) Economic war, 2) Currency war, 3) Military warfare on land or from space, 4) Chemical and Biological warfare, 5) Nuclear warfare, and finally 6) Cyberwarfare.
Brazil needs to develop very quickly the state-of-the-art defense capabilities in all these areas to be able to protect Brazil and its citizens from the above mentioned threats.
International relations can go sour very quickly for one reason or another; just look at the latest example of what is happening in Libya, when just six months ago government leaders of countries such as England, France, and Italy were all pals of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and they were kissing his ass to make investments of Libyan money on their countries.
And at the first opportunity they had, they decided to use NATO (the rogue international military organization which is controlled by the United States) to attack Libya to get rid of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and replace him with a puppet that would make it easier for these countries to pillage and control all of Libya’s assets.
The invasion and infrastructure destruction of countries such as Iraq and now Libya serve as concrete evidence that justify why countries such as Iran have the right to develop its nuclear weapons capabilities to be able to defend their country against such military interventions.
Brazilians need to wake up and be aware of major red flags that signal trouble ahead. You need to be able to connect the dots to see the big picture.
Why is a country that is on the brink of bankruptcy and may not be able to pay its bills in the near future wasting so much money in Colombia? A country that has to borrow hundreds and hundreds of billions of US dollars from foreigner countries year after year for its economy to be able to stay afloat.
A country that is already fighting multiple wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, and uses its drones to bomb other countries in the Middle East, and a country that it is stretched to the limit. Why is such a country building seven military bases in Colombia? A situation that makes Colombia a country under foreign military occupation.
Because of the very poor economic and financial position of the United States today, it does not make any sense for the United States to be spending borrowed money from China to build seven military bases in an area that the United States is not involved in a war. Unless the United States is planning to turn South America into another Vietnam…
In a Nutshell:
Here is the estimated world population from 10,000 BC to 2034 AD.
Total World Population in Selected Years:
Year…………..# of World Population
10,000 BC…………4 million people
5,000 BC…………..5 million
4,000 BC…………..7 million
3,000 BC…………14 million
2,000 BC…………27 million
1,000 BC…………50 million
500 BC………….100 million
200 BC………….150 million
1 AD…………….170 million
200 AD………….190 million
300 AD………….190 million
400 AD………….190 million
500 AD………….190 million
600 AD………….200 million
700 AD………….210 million
800 AD……….…220 million
900 AD…….……240 million
1,000 AD………..265 million
1,100 AD………..320 million
1,200 AD………..360 million
1,300 AD………..360 million
1,400 AD………..350 million
1,500 AD………..425 million
1,550 AD………..480 million
1,600 AD………..545 million
1,700 AD………..610 million
1,750 AD………..720 million
1,800 AD………..900 million
1,850 AD………1,200 million or 1.2 billion
1,900 AD………1,625 million or 1.6 billion
1,925 AD………2,000 million or 2.0 billion
1,950 AD………2,500 million or 2.5 billion
1,960 AD………3,000 million or 3.0 billion
1,975 AD………4,000 million or 4.0 billion
1,985 AD………5,000 million or 5.0 billion
1,999 AD………6,000 million or 6.0 billion
2,011 AD………..7,000 million or 7.0 billion (As of July 2011)
2,023 AD………..8,000 million or 8.0 billion (Estimate)
2,034 AD………..9,000 million or 9.0 billion (Estimate)
Regarding the above population figures if you do check various sources regarding the history of world population then you will find out that the various estimates vary a little from source to source for the figures before 1 AD, but at the end of the day their estimates are not too far apart.
China and Russia are changing their population policies, which will result in faster population growth in the coming years – we probably will reach 8 and 9 billion people living on our planet much faster than they had estimated over the last few years.
The Northern Hemisphere is the part of the Earth that lies north of the equator, and the Southern Hemisphere is the part of the Earth that lies south of the equator. Out of the 7 billion people who live on our planet today only 10 percent of the total population (about 700 million people) live in the Southern Hemisphere , and 90 percent of the global population live in the Northern Hemisphere (about 6.3 billion people).
And as the Earth population grows very quickly from 7 billion to 9 billion people by 2034, most of this population growth is going to happen in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the first part of the 21st century we will have a fierce competition among the major nations of the world when they reach around the globe in their efforts to acquire the scarce natural resources which are necessary to feed the constant economic growth of their economies.
The “perfect storm” is ahead of us which includes a continued population explosion from 7 billion to 9 billion people, a fierce fight to secure scarce natural resources around the world, a re-structuring of the global economic and financial system to reflect the new economic realities of the 21st century, and as part of this adjustment, it will include the usual economic and currency wars that are already underway.
Just as a final reminder, at the end of the day: as Charles de Gaulle once suggested that, “in international relations, a country has no friends, only interests.”
Brazzil Magazine – Columnist: Ricardo C. Amaral
Ricardo C. Amaral is a writer and economist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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